Miracle of the Holy Virgin (The Battle of the Novogorodians with the Suzdalians)

Iconography:  The miracle of the icon of “Our Lady of the Sign” (A battle between the Novgorodians and the Suzdalians)

Date: XV century. The middle - the second part of the 15th c.

Iconographic school/art center:  Novgorod school

Origin: From the Church of St. Nicholas of Kochanov, Novgorod.

Material: Wood, tempera

Dimensions:  height 165 cm, width 120 cm

The composition of the icon of the Miracle of the Holy Virgin (the Battle of the Novgorodians with the Suzdalians) is divided into three horizontal registers. The upper register represents a scene depicting the removal of the wonderworking icon of the Miracle of the Holy Virgin from the Church of the Savior at Ilyin Street to the kremlin (detinets). To the right is a depiction of one-domed Church of the Savior, with Archbishop John-Elijah standing nearby and holding the icon by the pole, and two deacons and a priest helping him to hold it. In the center a procession with the icon walks down the bridge across the river of Volhkov to the detinets, led by a server holding a cross. To the right is a scene of the Novgorodians going out of the detinets’ gates towards the procession and kneeling before the icon. The second and the third registers are unified by the fortress tower to the left. In the center of the second register is a depiction of negotiations between two groups of mounted envoys. To the left Suzdal troops are shooting the city. Behind the tower Novgorodian warriors hold banners and pikes. Before the troops, on the tower wall, hangs the icon of the Miracle of the Holy Virgin, hit by arrows flying from Novgorodian troops. The lower register represents horsemen riding out of the tower gates, led by the saints Boris, George and Gleb that are marked out with haloes around their heads. Above the horsemen’s heads are multi-colored banners depicting Golgothian crosses and pikes. To the right is a depiction of Suzdal troops suffering a defeat. Above the heads of the fighting horsemen in the forefront is the Archangel Michael with a sword; warriors in the rear are running away, with horses trampling down dead bodies.

Inv. № 2184. © Novgorod State United Museum


Иконы Великого Новгорода XI- начала XVI веков. Авторы проекта Л.В. Нерсесян и С.В.Обух. М. Северный паломник. 2008. №40.

  • General view
  • Panel 01
  • Panel 01. A fragment
  • Panel 02, left fragment
  • Panel 02, right fragment
  • Panel 03