Today we will look at one of the icon patterns taken off old Russian icons by the icon painter and restorer Vasiliy Pavlovich Guryanov (1867-1920). These patterns are collected in the book Transfers from Old Icons; Collected and Executed by the Icon Painter and Restorer V. P. Guryanov, St. Petersburg, 1902 (Переводы с древних икон, собранные и исполненные иконописцем и реставратором В. П. Гурьяновым. СПб. 1902), and put out by Alexandr Ivanovich Uspenskiy (1873-1938).
There is nothing extraordinary about the image — just one of countless examples of the “Lord Almighty” type. What I want to emphasize is the text in the Gospel book held by Jesus. Let’s look closer:
Не на лица
судите, сынове чело
Ne na litza sudite, suinove chel vechestii, no prave-
Им же бо су
но судя[т вам]
-den sud sudite. Im zhe bo sudom sudite, no sudya[t vam]
It is a composite text. The first part is a variant of John 7:24, and the second another variant, from Matthew 7:2. If we put left and right pages together and join the separated segments of the words, we get:
Не на лица судите, сынове человечестии но праведен суд судите
Им же бо судом судите, но судя[т вам]
“Judge not according to the appearance, sons of men, but judge righteous judgment. For with what judgment you judge, you shall be judged.”
Now oddly enough, this composite text from John and Matthew is rather common as a book inscription in icons of the “Lord Almighty” type, so it is good to learn to recognize it.
And by the way, the little note below the icon pattern says essentially “After the tradition of Andrey Rublov.”