The Miracle Worked by the Icon of the Virgin of the Sign, Detail
Detail from "The Miracle Worked by the Icon of the Virgin of the Sign (The Battle of the Novgorodians against Suzdalians)"
This detail shows the Novgorodians prepared for battle in the tower on the left of the second tier of the icon.
Wrought on limewood boards, "The Miracle Worked by the Icon of the Virgin of the Sign," though in poor condition, is a rare existing example of icons of its theme. It has been traced to the Gostinopolye Monastery near Novgorod and is not dissimilar to another icon of the same subject in the Novgorod Museum which has been traced to the Church of St. Nicholas Kochany, Novgorod.
The tale told by this tripartite (three part) icon is based on that of the famous Slavic writer, Pachomius the Serb. It relates how the Novgorodians were saved from the Suzdalian army. The top register, the most holy passage of the icon, depicts the Icon of our Lady being transported across the Volkhov from the old wooden church to the Cathedral of St. Sophia. The central register displays the Novgorodian (left-hand side) and Suzdalian (right-hand side) emissaries negotiating before the battle. The lower register depicts the battle and shows the victorious Novgorodians. In all three registers, the design emphasizes a few figures in the foreground who stand out from other figure masses and/or architectural elements in the background.