Russian icons

Art and spirituality It is considered the most important collection of religious Russian art in the West, both for its size and the number of rare masterpieces of ancient times. Of particular significance are two stunning 13th-century Novgorod panels depicting the Descent into Hell and Ascent to Heaven of the prophet Elijah. From the Middle Ages to modern times, the collection charts each stage in the history of Russian icon painting through its numerous artistic centres, from the illustrious schools of Moscow, Novgorod, Vladimir, Tver’ and Pskov to the provincial areas of central and northern Russia. The collection stands out for its large number of 18th- and 19th-century pieces, the period following the reforms of Tzar Peter the Great which has not yet been widely explored.