Nothing quite as beautiful as egg tempera on wood, I'd say, best of all in blues and reds, and all the better as applied to representing an eight point star flanked with eight angels adamantly gesturing (as if performing semaphore!) as they surround Mary and Baby Jesus in this 19th c. Russian icon. Stunning color, striking composition, marvelous details, just gorgeous.
With a bit of quick research I've learned that the eight-pointed star in this Russian icon is a symbolic image of the story of the Burning Bush, witnessed by Moses-- who saw God in the flames, commanding him to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt. In Christian tradition, the burning bush came to symbolize divine light and to serve as an embodiment of the Christian church itself, guiding souls to the righteous path. I haven't learned whether the hand gestures of our angels here symbolize specific things, but what a wonderful array of postures and especially wonderful play of hands!
8 1/2" x 6 3/4" x 7/16" thick and in very good antique condition with just a little paint loss around the edges and to the face at center about a quarter of the way down, which may have been the face of Moses, I'm not certain. I purchased this from one of my favorite dealers, who I know well, and guarantee that it authentic--as is evident by looking at it!