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

    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).