Title of the article:



Elena V. Lavrentyeva

Information about the author/authors

Elena V. Lavrentyeva — PhD in Art, State Research Institute for Restoration, Gastello St., 44, build. 1, 107014 Moscow, Russia. ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3486-4862. E-mail: Lavrentyeva_Elena@mail.ru


History of Arts




Vol. 57


pp. 232-245


May 19, 2020

Date of publication

September 28, 2020



Index UDK


Index BBK



This study provides the results of microscopic analysis on the icon — radiography, ultraviolet and infrared photography, chemical analysis of pigments and levkas (gesso). All late restoration interventions are listed; the technique and technology of the icon are described in detail. The icon, “Virgin of Egypt”, (E. Roizman collection, Ekaterinburg) is in good condition despite just a few restoration interventions. In the course of research the author was able to prove the authenticity of the inscription on the icon's lower field specifying the date of its creation. This allows us to claim that icon painting in Nev’jansk existed as early as the 1730s. The painting technique, technology and pigments used for making paints are chronologically identified and generally correspond to the technology of Russian icon painting in the period 1700 to 1735. Thus, synthetic azurite, indigo, cinnabar, red lead, ocher, white lead and red organic pigment were used for the manufacture of paints. The work also included a so-called “double (dvoynik)” — a thin leaf of silver fused with a thin leaf of gold. The paper revealed a number of peculiarities of the stratigraphy of facial painting (“lichnoe”), allowing us to cautiously assume that the author of Virgin of Egypt was familiar with the technique of facial painting known and used among icon painters in the Capital. A similar stratigraphy was identified on the icon, “Our Lady of Kazan”, by Kirill Ulanov (dated 1720), which was also examined at the State Research Institute for Restoration in 2013.


Nev'jansk icons, icons technique, icons technology, Old Believer icon, icons attribution. 


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