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Georgian Art & Design

The Martvili Icon of the Virgin

This is from the 1st half of the 12th century, from Martvili, Georgia. The Theotokos is tooled in gold and surrounded by gemstones. There are 11 icon medallions surrounding the central figure. In the corners are the Four Evangelists, starting from upper right, then clockwise: Matthew, Mark, Luke & John. To the left middle is St. Cyrus. To the right middle is St. Paul. Christ & the Theotokos are represented again in medallions just over the curve of the arch. Across the top are St. Peter, St. Marcianus and St. Basil.




GTsilkani Virgin

The Virgin Hodegetria with Archangels. From Tsilkani
The faces and limbs of the saints, diadems of the Virgin and Christ date from 9th century; The garments and enamel medallions - from the 13th century; The chased mounting from the 18th century

Constructed from wood, encaustic, tempera, silver, gold, cloisonné enamels, precious and semi-precious stones.
60 x 48 cm
Art Museum of Georgia, Tbilisi

Pectoral Cross from Martvili

The cross bears four figurative enamels against the gold ground: the half-fig-ure of the Virgin in Prayer at the top, St. Demetrios holding the cross to the left. Saint Nicholas with the Gospel to the right and below, the full-length image of John Chrysostom. His vestment is treated in long, rare lines, the folds. The predominant colors are dark and pale blue. The Greek inscrip-tions are made in reddish-brown enamel. The two large yellow stains bright-en up the gamut of colors. The cross is also adorned on both sides with the medallions surrounded by wide enamel edges of either blue with gold ringlets or emerald-green with red ringlets.


Below the First Pectoral Cross of Martvili and a series of Georgian stamps with images of thes religious artifacts.

Khakhuli icon

This precious Khakhuli icon is an amazing sample of Georgian chasing. Currently it is kept in the Georgian Art Museum. When all the three wings of the triptych are unfolded it is 147 cm in height and 202 cm in width. In the center the 10th-11th century enamel icon of the Virgin is placed (54 x 41), which got lost in 1859. The face and hands were subsequently found in a private collection. The icon is richly ornamented with the samples of cloisonné enamel. At the borderline of the 10th-11th centuries the Virgin's image belonged to the Khakhuli Cathedral (now on the territory of Turkey). At the time of the Turkish Seljuk invasion the relic was moved to Gelati Monastery. Later on, side wings were attached to it, and it was richly decorated. Part of enamel ornaments belongs to the Georgian masters, the other part - to the Byzantine masters. The work on the triptych was finished at the end of the 11th century - beginning of the 12th century.

The Gelati Tondo represents St. Mamai, tortured to death on the 2nd September 275 for having accepted Christianity.

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The Plaque with the Presentation at the Temple

A beautiful example of an enamelled icon in The Georgian Museum.