St Nicholas and stories from his life
Collections OnlinePinacotecaRoom XVIII

St Nicholas and stories from his life

Russian art (Novgorod?)
end 15th- beginning 16th cent.
St Nicholas and stories from his life
tempera with oil films on wood;
covering in silver and gold filigree
cm. 67,5 x 54
cat. 40026

The icon with St Nicholas and stories from his life is one of the oldest of the Vatican collection. Probably produced by the Russian school of Novgorod, it can be dated to the end of the 15th or the beginning of the 16th century. The figure of St Nicholas, bishop of Mira conferring a blessing dominates the composition. His remains were transferred to Bari in 1087. He is framed by sixteen episodes from his life. On the back of the wooden panel are two inscriptions the oldest of which, in early Slavic characters, recalls that the icon was given in memory of her brother John by Eudochia, daughter of the Russian prince Michele Godunov, to a Russian monastery in 1571. The second, in Latin, states that Francesco Vettori, Prefect and curator of the Sacred Museum of the Vatican Library, gave it in 1763 to Pope Clement XIII (pontiff from 1758 to 1769) on the occasion of an official visit to the Sacred Museum. The panel, an important historical and artistic document, is enriched by a covering in silver and gold filigree, added perhaps when it was donated in 1571 as an ex-voto.