Holy Virgin Hodegetria

Iconography:  Holy Virgin Hodegetria

Date: XVI century. The first half of the 16th c.

Iconographic school/art center:  In line with Moscow’s iconographic traditions of the Dionisius era but is most likely to have been created under Basil III

Icon-painter: Possibly a Moscow iconographer

Material: Wood, canvas, levkas

Dimensions:  height 132 cm, width 103 cm

The right hand of the Mother of God is devotionally turned to the Child, majestically seated on Her left hand. The icon is obviously an iconographic variant of an icon from the Monastery of the Ascension in Moscow’s Kremlin. It is painted on a board of about the same size and is kindred to it in terms of the composition and a number of details. The Child is holding a scroll lying on His left ankle, in the upper corners of the centerpiece are the half-figures of the Archangels Michael and Gabriel. To the left of the Theotokos is a large inscription “И Одигитриа”, with individual letters written in stylized Greek letters. The icon is distinguished by the images of the instruments of Christ’s Passion being held by the Archangels – a large eight-pointed cross in the Archangel (Michael’s?) hands and a stick in Gabriel’s. This iconographic motif that first appeared in the 12th century Byzantine iconography is not typical of the Theotokos Hodegetria, being most widespread on the icons of the Mother of God the Tenderness, in which it indicates the redeeming sacrifice of Christ and is assigned with the Eucharist symbols. In the Murom iconographic variant the instruments of Christ’s sufferings, held by the angels, are associated with the redemption of humankind by Logos-Christ that the Mother of God is pointing to. 

Restored in 1994-1996 at the Grabar Restoration Center by N.V.Dunayeva, A.Yu.Lyubavsky, A. Prigorodova 

  • General view