9 June 2008
"OUR SAVIOUR WITH THE WET BEARD"
RUSSIAN (MOSCOW), CIRCA 1500
A rare version of the Mandylion, depicting Christ's face without the cloth which, according to the story, he used to wipe and imprint his features on his way to Golgotha; his eyes, long nose and small mouth rendered with refinement, the ogival form of his forehead mirroring the shape of his beard, the latter ending in a double point, the Holy Visage framed by flowing locks, his tripartite halo defined by a doubly incised rim, inscribed in red with the initials of the words 'I am that I am' (Exodus 3:14), the face painted with earthen tones, illuminated with brighter shades around the eyes and on the forehead, the hair, moustache and beard painted with denser nuances and heightened with black striations
11½ x 10 in. (29.2 x 25.4 cm)
The current owner purchased this lot from Sotheby's, sale 14 November 1988, London, Icons, Russian Pictures and Works of Art, lot 439
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