Our Lady from the Deesis row is the iconogpahic version of depiction the Mother of God without the Divine Child. The Holy Virgin may be represented shoulder-length, waist-length or full-length turning to the right in prayer. The icons of this iconographic version usually are the part of Deesis composition including Jesus Christ and interceding Our Lady and John the Baptist. Or they may come from the second Deesis row of iconostasis. The iconostasis of the Archangel’s Cathedral consists of four tiers – local, festive, deisis and prophets. The monumental construction is topped with the Crucifixion with Worshipping Our Lady and John the Theologian. All the icons of the iconostasis, escept two icons of the local row – “The Annunciation of Ustyug” and “Archangel Michael in deeds” – were created by royal painters (“isografs”) in 1679-1681. The documents say, there worked such eminent makers as Michael Milyutin and Fyodor Zubov, who worked in quite a new artistic manner. All the prophets are depicted standing and holding open scrolls with prophetic words. The central image of the row is the monumental icon of Our Lady sitting an a throne with the Child on her lap. The deisis row belongs to the type of Apostle deisis rows, i.e. includes both the traditional five-figured key (Saviour Almighty, Our Lady, John the Precursor, Archangel Michael, Archangel Gabriel) and icons of twelve Apostles (six from each side). Traditional images of Christ and our Lady in the local tier to the right and to the left from the King’s gate are “Our Lady the Favoured Heaven” and “saviour the Great Pontiff”. The church icon of Archangel Michael in deeds is the most ancient one. It was painted c. 1399 and adorned the iconostasis of the ancient Archangel’s Church. The icon of the Annunciation of Ustyug is a copy of the illustrious icon of the XIIth century, executed in the XVIth century on the order of Tsar Ivan the Terrible. The wooden frame of the iconostasis was also executed in the reign of Theodore Alexeevich by a team of carvers following the best traditions of the Moscow Baroque style.


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