Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker (Nikola Gostunski) with scenes from his life

Iconography:  Nicholas the Wonderworker (Nikola Gostunski), Hagiographic cycle Nicholas

Date: XVII century. The late 16th c.

Iconographic school/art center:  Moscow school (?)

Origin: From the Trinity Convent in Murom.

Material: Wood, tempera

Dimensions:  height 124 cm, width 98,9 cm

A silver icon case and the subsequent coats of paints concealed a leaf gold inscription in the center “Оагисо Николае Гостунскии”. The restoration revealed that the saint’s image was the third of the surviving icons belonging to a very rare iconographic type of Nicholas the Wonderworker. All three iconographic variants are derived from a medieval miraculous icon of the late 15th – early 16th centuries that appeared in the village of Gostun on the river Gostun (tributary of Oka) between the cities Belev and Likhvin in the Kaluzhskaya gubernia. An important feature of the Murom variant is that it precisely matches in size the reproduction of the miraculous icon from Gostun, known from the 19th century documentary sources. While the number and composition of the border scenes coincide in all the cases, the Murom icon significantly varies in terms of the border scenes’ sequence and iconography. The icon’s centerpiece is compositionally downsized relative to other border scenes, separated from them with a narrow ornamental frame. In the upper part of the icon, in the circles, are the half-figures of Christ and the Mother of God with golden assist rays. The ascetic and austere image of St. Nicholas is distinguished by the unusually elongated and symmetrical contours, a long and thin nose, a motionless look of big eyes, raised eyebrows and deep wrinkles on forehead. The saint’s head had been framed with a silver gilded crown with precious stones (later lost). 


1. The Nativity of St. Nicholas
2. St. Nicholas brought to monastic school 

3. St. Nicholas consecrated deacon 

4. St. Nicholas consecrated archbishop 

5. St. Nicholas drives the demons out of the well 

6. St. Nicholas appears to the Emperor Constantine in a dream 

7. St. Nicholas appears to the three generals in prison 

8. St. Nicholas saves the three generals from the execution 

9. Nicholas heals the man possessed by demon 

10. The miracle with the ship 

11. St. Nicholas saves a drowning youth Dimitri 

12. St. Nicholas buys a carpet from the old man 

13. St. Nicholas returns the carpet to the old man’s wife 

14. St. Nicholas saves Basil, the son of Agricos, from Saracen captivity 

15. The Dormition of St. Nicholas 

16. The relics of the saints are carried from Myra to Bari. 

Deposited in the Museum on February 10, 1930. Restored in 1993-1996 at the Grabar Restoration Center by Ye. I. Buchilo. 

  • General view