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Medallion in Memory of Nicholas I
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Medallion in Memory of Nicholas I


Description Exhibitions Provenance Inscription Credit
Description This large plaque is formed by two convex copper plates decorated with painted enamel in soft colors. In the center of the image on the front is an empty throne, inscribed at the top with a cyrillic 'N' and a Roman numeral I. This refers to the Russian emperor Nicholas I, who died in 1854. Christ and four childlike angels appear over the throne, in the heavenly realm in which the dead tsar supposedly now rests. On the right is a group of female saints: Catherine, the Empress Helena (holding the Cross, which she reportedly discovered on a pilgramage to Jerusalem), Alexandra the Queen, Mary Magdalene, and Princess Olga. On the left are male saints: Archangel Michael, Nicholas Kochanov (?), Emperor Constantine (like his mother, carrying the Cross), Alexander Nevski, and Nicholas the Miracle-Worker (bishop of Myra). It seems probable that these particular saints were chosen as the name-saints of Nicholas' family: his wife Alexandra, his daughters Maria, Olga and Alexandra, his sons Constantine, Alexander, Nicholas, and Mikhail, his sister-in-law Elena Pavlovna, his niece Ekaterina Mikhailovna, and his grandson Nicholas Alexandrovich (Alexander II's son and heir, who died before he could ascend the throne). On the back, in large gold letters on a blue background, is the inscription "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven" (Matt 5:16).
Exhibitions
  • Russian Enamels. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1996-1997.
Provenance Leon Grinberg ("A la Vieille Russie"), New York [date of acquisition unknown], by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1951, by purchase.
Inscriptions [Transcription] On the back: Тако да просветится / светъ вашъ предъ человеки / яко да видятъ вашы добрыя / дела и прославятъ Отца ва/шего иже есть на небесехъ (Matthew 5:16); [Translation] At top of empty throne: N I; [Translation] On the back, in large gold letters on a blue background: Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven
Credit Museum purchase, 1951

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Creator
Period
1855-1856 (Modern)
Medium
painted enamel on copper
(Enamels)
Accession Number
44.624
Measurements
H: 5 3/8 x W: 4 1/2 in. (13.6 x 11.5 cm)
Geographies
Location Within Museum
Not On View

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