What is the story of my family’s Russian Orthodox icon?
- Source: This icon is a primary source item because it is a physical thing of its time. Keep in mind that I am and will be talking about the icon, not the picture of the icon. I do not know who created it and exactly when or where it was produced, but I know it came from Russia and is about 400 years old.
- Context: Considering how I do not know exactly when this icon was produced, I can’t find specific events that happened when this icon was made because specific events mean specific times.
- Description: I notice that the inside metal/picture part of the icon looks very old, and is the main part of the icon. The wooden borders and glass are just a case of the icon. I can also see that not all of the icon is 400 years old. The actual icon inside is 400 years old, but the outer wood and glass surrounding the icon are definitely not 400 years old. I’d say it’s no more than 10-50 years old. I also think the middle, gold coloured part is around 100-200 years old.
- Inferences about perspective: The icon is a religious picture and I infer the image is from Orthodox Christianity because it is the largest religion in Russia. I am not religious myself, so I am not sure whether this is true or not. Taking this into account, I believe the creator of this icon practiced Orthodox Christianity (or whatever religion this icon is from) because I don’t think the creator would have created it if they did not believe in what they were creating. The audience/target(or customer) is anyone who practiced Orthodox Christianity (or whatever religion this icon is from).
- Inferences from inquiry question: I explained what I examined from this icon in questions four and five (the age of the casing and the religion). This doesn’t really answer my inquiry question because I want to learn the story of the icon, what it has gone through. I talked with my family members to help me find out an answer to my inquiry question. I couldn’t find the complete story, but I found a story that explains how valuable this icon is. Back in the first world war, part of my dad’s family was trying to escape the war with all of their belongings on two horses. On their journey, a squadron from the army (I’m not sure which army) needed to take one of my family’s horses to carry their wounded. This meant that my family had to throw out almost half of their life’s belongings to be able to keep travelling with only one horse. They threw out cutlery, books, jewelry, plates, clothing and even some food, but they kept the heavy icon. This explains how much sentimental value this icon holds, and why it is so important to my family. Since then, this icon has been carried through the two famines and the second world war.