M&G’s collection of icons (about 50) presents the history of icon painting from the 14th through the 20th centuries. Various icons represent the Novgorod School, the Suzdal and Moscow Schools (including the followers of Rublev), and the work of the Stroganov family.
While some icons lack their protective covering, others still have their oklad—some simple and understated and others highly decorated with seed pearls, enamel, semi-precious stones, and filigree. Many people are familiar with the Fabergé firm; however a number of other jewelry firms produced objects of the same quality for the royal family including Pavel Ovchinnikov (image on left), who earned the privilege of using the Imperial seal: the Romanov double-headed eagles.
A few of the icons in the collection come from Greece including a beautiful and intricate carving of The Annunciation in boxwood by an artisan monk from Mount Athos. Of special note are twenty-two icons with a provenance linked to members of the Romanov family—the last of the Russian Tsars.