Temple Gallery

Established 1959

Exhibitions Archive


AZ29. The Holy Prophet Elijah
Russia, Upper Volga Region, early 17th century
Dimensions: 48 x 38.6cm; thickness 3.5cmClick here to convert metric size to imperial
Provenance: Amsterdam, from the collection of Loek Caspers. Loek Caspers was a Dutch Resistance fighter during the Second World War who helped many Jewish children and resistance fighters. She worked as a maternity nurse which allowed her to retain a bike, which she used to transport weapons and help communication between resistance cells. She went on to train as a doctor in England and died in 2019, being one of the last surviving members of the Dutch Resistance.

Proceeds from this icon sale will help the Sister Mura Foundation in Johannesburg. The Foundation assists migrants living with HIV/Aids by providing income generating schemes. They also provide educational bursaries, helping eighty families to pay for primary, secondary, and higher education.

No. 29. Detail

Our icon probably comes from a remote area in the Upper Volga region. The artist is not unskilled and has the freedom typical of the Russian North. Naturally gifted as a painter, he finds vigorous and bold forms that seem to predate the Moscow Avant Garde of the early twentieth century (Fig. 1). For further discussion on the psychological freedom of icons painters from the constraint of naturalism see the notes for No. 14 in this catalogue. See also the architecture forms in No. 32, The Annunciation.

Fig. 1. G. Klutsis: Construction, 1921

No. 29

Fig. 2. Back of panel