The Volokolamsk Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God

The Volokalamsk Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God is a miracle-working copy of the Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God.The centerpiece of the icon reproduces a fairly exact copy of the ancient icon.But unlike its ancient version, the Mother of God on Her head above the kerchief wears a golden headscarf decorated with pearls and precious stones.Besides, over the halo of the Mother of God there are visible traces of the depicted crown likewise decorated with pearls and precious stones.Thus, the icon painter gave a colourful reproduction of the pearl crown which adorned the Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God in the XV1 century.On the raised flat corners of the icon panel on the medallions are half-length figures of the archangels Michael and Gabriel, below- full-length figures of the Moscow Metropolitans Peter and Jonah.

In 1570 appeared “Tale on the Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God of Volokolamsk…”, which says that in 1572 Malyuta Skuratov put the icon in the Volokolamsk Monastery of St.Joseph. The icon was put at the Sanctuary Doors of the Dormition Cathedral of the Monastery. The tale further tells a miraculous story that happened to Malyuta’s manservant who was carrying the icon.This manservant Peter by name, having “devilish thoughts”, struck his head against the iron door at the church entrance.But he was healed after the moleben was conducted by all the clergy of the church at the miracle-working icon.Since that time the icon has become a locally venerated object of worship.

All the researchers note a high artistic value of the icon.Depiction on the raised flat corners of the icon panel of Metropolitan Peter who transferred the Metropolitan’s cathedra from Vladimir to Moscow and the Metropolitan Jonah under whom the Russian Church became autocephalous, emphasizes the idea of the centralized Moscow state.

Besides the Volokolamsk Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God there is one more icon which reproduces the luxurious attire of the Vladimir Mother of God.This copy was made by the icon painter Simeon Yakovlev in Moscow in 1561. It was commissioned by F.D.Syrkov for the Cathedral of St.Sophia in Novgorod.

Since 1954 the icon has been kept in the collection of the Andrew Rublev Museum, in 1958-1959 it was restored by V.E.Bryagin. 


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