The icons of the Feasts tier come from the Church of the Prophet Elijah in Yaroslavl. They decorated the family chapel of the wealthy merchant brothers Boniface and Joannicius Skripin, the builders of the church. The Skripins and other wealthy merchant families of Yaroslavl contributed enormous amounts of money for the adornment of Yaroslavian churches.
The icons were painted by the famous icon-painting artel headed by Gury Nikitin from the nearby town of Kostroma. Nikitin and his artel were renowned for their technical proficiency. The artel’s artistic acumen is revealed in the fluid rendering of lines and in the sophisticated color palette that abounds with subtle gradations of emerald greens and purplish-pinks. The compositions are complex and multi-figured but are well balanced and harmonious. Nikitin’s masterful icons were recently restored and have seldom been displayed together. Superbly executed, they are among the best works of 17th century Russian art.