Old Antique Russian Icons

Old Antique Russian Icons
Antique Russian orthodox icon painted on wooden board

Old antique Russian icons are an integral part of Russian history and heritage. Read our guide below for more facts and information on antique icons from Russia…

The commencement of Russian icon painting took place when the state of Kiev Rus converted to Orthodox Christianity in the year 988 AD. These paintings were a reflection of Byzantine art initially, and as time went by, the Russians developed a distinct style and design. Here is the list of the oldest antique Russian icons:

Savior in Golden Riza

“Savior in Golden Riza” is an icon that belongs to Saint Sophia Cathedral in Novgorod. It is an 11th century Russian icon and was repainted in 1699. It is currently located in Dormition Cathedral in Moscow.

Saint Peter and Paul

“Saint Peter and Paul” features a celebration feast in the mark of respect for the martyrdom in Rome of the apostles of St. Paul and St. Peter. This icon painting has a lot of significance as it demonstrates the two priests in unity wherein St. Peter represents Christianity of the West and St. Paul represents the Orthodox East. This Russian icon painting is currently in Novgorod Art Museum, Russia.

Saint George

The most common depiction of Saint George as an iconic painting is with him being portrayed as a Roman soldier wearing contemporary armour mounted on a white horse. It is currently in the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow.

Theotokos of Vladimir

This iconic painting is also known as “Our Lady of Vladimir” or “Virgin Mary of Vladimir”. It is a renowned Orthodox icon and is a true representation of Byzantine iconography. This icon is currently on display in the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow.

Annunciation of Ustyug

Created in Novogrod during the 12th century, “Annunciation of Ustyug” is a renowned antique Russian icon. The history of this icon is greatly disputed.  It was restored during the 16th century and the 17th century. It is kept in the State Tetyakov gallery.

Our Lady of the Sign

“Our lady of the Sign” is an iconic painting that depicts Virgin Mary (in full or half) with both her arms extended outwards and the picture of Jesus Christ on her chest. It is currently kept in the saint Sophia Cathedral in Novgorod.

The image of Edessa

As per the ancient legend, the image of Edessa was holy artefact on cloth that has the face of Jesus imprinted on it magically. This is also kept in the Tretyakov gallery in Moscow.


“Eleusa” is an Eastern orthodox icon that depicts the Virgin Mary with Jesus snuggling on her cheek. This icon is symbolic of the supreme sacrifice Jesus did for people and is currently on display at the State Tetyakov gallery.

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