A Faberge carved nephrite, gold and enamel bonbonni 3/16re,

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A Faberge carved nephrite, gold and enamel bonbonni 3/16re, St. Petersburg, circa 1903 the carved nephrite body with gold rim, the hinged gold cover enameled translucent rose pink over a guilloche ground and applied with a gold reserve chased with Cupid riding an eagle on a ightly different iconographic type is the Virgin of the Passion; in this variant, the two angles at the upper corners hold the instruments of the future Passion of Christ. This subject is also derived from the Byzantine artistic repertory but is better known, through its derivatives, in Western iconography. The intended title of the icon appears on the left side of the Virgin with a Greek inscription meaning 'The (Virgin of our) Hope'. By this title, we are to understand it to be a supplication to the Virgin by the donor for the deliverance of hope and closely held aspirations. This inference can be clearly supported by the fact that other representations of this type of the Glykophilousa do not usually carry a similar inscribed title. While this is clearly a Cretan work of art, this icon also betrays subtle, yet unmistakable signs of Italianate influence in the light tonal modulation of the faces and the easy, naturalistic movement of the Christ Child. It belongs to a time when the important painters of the Cretan School had easy access to the West through Venice and invariably experimented with Western styles and coloristic effects. For comparable icons, see, From Byzantium to El Greco, Greek Frescoes and Icons, Exhibition Catalogue, Royal Academy of Arts, London, March 27th-June 21st, 1987, published by the Greek Ministry of Culture, Athens, 1987, and also, Icons of the Cretan School, From Handakas to Moscow and St. Petersburg, Exhibition catalogue, Vikelaia Library, University Publications of the University of Crete, Candia, 1993 (in Greek).