Unique exhibition of Saint Nicholas opened in Vologda museum

Kirillov, July 3, 2019


In the St. Cyril of White Lake Museum in Vologda province, an unprecedented exhibition “St. Nicholas the God-Pleaser” opened. It presents around 350 images of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker from the 11th to the early 20th century as Rossiyskaya Gazeta reports.

It is an incredibly unique exhibition. Artifacts for it were provided by 14 museums throughout the Arkhangelsk, Vologda, and Yekaterinburg provinces, as well as from collections in different cities across Russia. Many of the artifacts, including very rare icons, are being presented to the public for the first time.

One of these recreated icons is the icon, “Holy Hierarch Nicholas the Wonderworker”, dating from the second half of the nineteenth century. In 2011, it was discovered in disrepair by employees of an Arkhangelsk museum in a private house, in the village of Gridkino, Verkhnetoemsky District, Arkhangelsk oblast’. Today, after major restoration, the icon first appeared to visitors.

The image of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, Archbishop of Myra in Lycia, holds a special place in Christian culture. In Rus’, he was venerated as a helper in all business matters, a defender of travelers, the unjustly convicted, and those in trouble. A famous Ukrainian and Carpatho-Russian Christmas carol, popular across Russian Orthodoxy outside of Russia as well, has words which summarize the people’s feeling towards the Saint:

O whoever loves Nicholas, the saintly, O whoever serves Nicholas, the saintly, Him will Nicholas receive, and give help in time of need. Holy Father Nicholas!

The people have always valued him for his kindness, mercy and justice. Throughout the entire territory of the Russian state, there is hardly a place where there would not be a single church dedicated to the God-pleasing Nicholas, or icons with his image.

According to the museum, visitors to the exhibition will become acquainted with a diverse range of iconographical depictions of Saint Nicholas. There are unique icons from the 15th–17th centuries, including ancient images of the saint with rare stories, as well as folk icons endowed with special warmth and unique iconographic style.

In addition, the exhibition features early carvings made of bone, stone, wood, and graphic works, ancient books, and a whole section of copper and metal icons cast in Old Rite workshops.


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