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Russian Icon - The Severed Head of Saint John the Baptist with St. Paul & the Guardian Angel

The icon represents the Severed Head of Saint John the Baptist, known in Russia as "Saint John the Forerunner", forerunner of Christ, the last of the prophets, and the first Christian saint. A popular and much venerated figure in Orthodox iconography, Saint John was beheaded under the order of King Herod who wished to please Salome, daughter of the king's lover Herodias, whom the Baptist had reproached for her adultery. The severed head of the saint is depicted on the platter shrunken in the sleep of death. God the Father shown in the upper left corner is blessing it from Heavens. The inscription on the upper border states in Old Slavonic: "[True] Head of Saint Prophet John the Forerunner".

The border saints are the Guardian Angel and St. Paul the Apostle. 

Additional Info

  • ID#: 91-1009-013-331-SP1
  • Size: 11 3/4 x 10 1/4 inches (30 x 25.5 cm)
  • Age: ca. 1900
  • Origin: Provincial Russia
  • Materials: Egg tempera on silvered and gessoed wood
  • Price: $900
  • Orthodox Cross
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