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The Russian emigration poet Sergey Bekhteev (1871 – 1954) is best known for his poetic texts dedicat ed to the last Russian emperor Nicholas II. The poet, who was a staunch monarchist, remained faithful to the memory of the Tsar killed by the Bolsheviks until the end of his life. This article provides a detailed analysis of those Bekhteev's poems in which the icon motive appears (“Before the Icon of Ou r Lady”, “Heavenly Queen (Icon of the Sovereign Our Lady)”, “Nicholas II”, “Crown Master”, “At the Cross”, etc.) . It is shown that all the works belonging to this group are in the genre of poetic prayer. The y are conventionally divided into two categories : those in which the lyrical subject addresses with prayer to the Icon of the Virgin and those where he addresses with prayer directly to Nicholas II, comparing him with Jesus Christ.

It is established that the Bekhteev's lyrical prayers to the Image of Our Lady continue the ecphrasical tradition of the XIX century. Their main difference from earlier works belonging to this genre is the fact that the lyric subject here gives the protection of the Virgin not on ly to himself and his relatives, but to the whole of Russia, its autocratic system and the monarch. The author proves that in his prayers to Nicholas II Bekhteev completely consciously uses the vocabulary inherent in iconography (“face”, “image”), in order to equate the last Russian emperor with the help of the iconographic icon to Christ and to emphasize his deification. The article focuses attention on Bekhteev‘s role as one of the founders of modern heresy of the ,,tsarebozhye”.


Icon, motive, prayer, ecphrasis, S. S. Bekhteev, Nicholas II, deification, tsarebozhye