Item Details
Item 6
Saint Paraskeva Piatnitsa
Circa 1690
Egg tempera on wood panel
27.5” x 23.5”
James and Tatiana Jackson Collection

Born in the 3rd century under the rule of Emperor Diocletian (284-305), Saint Paraskeva is shown with angels placing a crown on her head. In her left hand she holds a cross, a sign of her martyrdom. In her right hand she holds a scroll inscribed in Old Church Slavonic: “I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth…” In the upper left corner is the “Not Made by Hands Image.” The abbreviated Old Church Slavonic inscription located beneath each angel and reading from left to right identifies the subject as “The Image of the Holy Great Martyr Paraskeva Piatnitsa.” In Greek, the word for Friday is Paraskeva, in Russian Piatnitsa. With Friday being the traditional market day, Saint Paraskeva is venerated as Patron of the market or commerce. The size and shape of this panel suggests it was most likely a church icon probably from the local tier of the iconostasis in a rural church, chapel or shrine. It would appear that all but the face and hands of this icon have been overpainted. This practice was common due to the nature of the varnish used to coat icons. The boiled linseed and resin concoction darkened substantially over a 100-year period, requiring icons to be re-freshened or repainted.