And speaking of Russia...By

And speaking of Russia...

There continues to be no shortage of new Russian icons to go around. Many new pieces are now copying specific well-known originals.

The example shown here is a reproduction of the Lady of Czestochowa, also called "The Black Madonna." A 14th century Polish monastery houses the original. Visitors from across Europe were drawn to the icon because it was believed to have healing effects. Soot from candles burned in devotion before the image, supposedly created a dark surface on the icon which inspired the name, Black Madonna.

The human portraits in virtually all of the reproductions, including this example, are paper prints. Originals were hand-painted. Use a loupe to detect the dot structure which characterizes modern color printing.

This example is 12- by 10½″ with a silverplated riza, the metal frame surrounding the image. Priced at $229 retail. Don't be confused by spurious marks on rizas. It's easy to put a forged mark or even a genuinely old riza over a new paper portrait.

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