The Poemen icon of the Mother of God is an ancient image of the Mother of God, it belongs to the iconographic type of Hodigitria.The icon is double-sided. On the face of the icon the Mother of God with the Divine Child is depicted waist-length.The Mother of God holds on to the knee of the Divine Child sitting on Her left arm, with the Divine Child making an effort to rise.With Her right hand she holds him and touches His chest.The head of the Mother of God is delicately inclined to the Divine Child.The Saviour’s right hand is raised in stavros blessing, and in His left hand he holds a scroll.On the reverse side is the scene of the Annunciation.The composition of the Annunciation is conventional-on the left side of the icon –the archangel Gabriel ringing for church, on the right side-the Mother of God seated on the throne with yarn, in the upper section is waist-length depiction of the Ancient of Days, His hand emanates a light beam towards the Mother of God.On the reverse side there is no ark.No traces of fixing the handle*** have been found either.

In the Book of Degrees of the Tsars’ genealogy of the sixties of the XV1 century there is a mention of this icon:”This miraculous icon of the Mother of God was brought from Tsargrad by the All-Russia Mitropolitan Poemen and for many a year it was in the Conciliar Church of the Kremlin…Now the Holy Icon is placed in the Tsar Court in the Annunciation Cathedral in the altar”. From the manuscripts it is clear that Mitropolitan Poemen thrice undertook “pilgrimage” to Constantinople : in 1380-13811385 and 1390.During his last journey he dies not far from Constantinople. The stylistic analysis coupled with the historic data on Mitropolitan Poemen’s stay in Constantinople enable the specialists to determine the date around the 80-ies of the X1V century.

Until 1918 the icon was kept in the Chamber of the Chrism of the Kremlin.In 1918 the icon was disclosed in the Commission on Preservation and Disclosure of the objects of ancient painting.After restoration the icon was transferred to the State Museum of History. In 1930 the icon was placed in the State Tretyakov Gallery.

Celebrations in honour of the Poemen icon of the Mother of God are held on the 19th June (6th June in the old style) 


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