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Vladimir Mother of God

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Vladimir Mother of God

Made by: Unknown

Currently in storage

About this object

This small icon is one copy among thousands made of one of the earliest Byzantine icons brought to Russia in the 1100s. It faithfully reproduces the gesture of tenderness and the expressive facial features that made its prototype the most revered icon among Russians.

The half-length image of the Vladimir Mother of God clasps the Christ Child to her breast and points to him with her uplifted left hand, while he presses his cheek against his mother's face and encircles her neck with his left arm. A frown creases the thin dark brows of both faces and there are heavy crescent-shaped pouches beneath their eyes. Christ wears a red chiton whose folds are finely rendered in sharp dark criss-cross strokes hatched with chrysography. His bare feet peek out beneath. The Mother of God's brown maphorion with green turban beneath is also generously decorated with chrysography and a decorative border. A gilded metal basma with an all-over repeat pattern is attached in strips to the polia and the ground surrounding the figures. Nail holes around the heads show that a venets was originally attached.

Object name:
Vladimir Mother of God
Made from:
Tempera on wood with gilding and brass
Made in:
Date made:
overall __12.12 IN __10.25 IN
overall __30.80 CM __26.04 CM

Detailed information for this item

Catalog number:
Signature marks:
INSCRIPTION; LABEL __on verso: 15 XVIII 23 (on old label under wax); Loan Ross (on label); 290832.1 (in pencil); 366 918 (in pencil); T2351 ( cyrillic in pencil
Credit line:
Gift of George Bunker, 1969
Featured in publication:
"Tradition in Transition: Russian Icons in the Age of the Romanovs ","Russian Icons at Hillwood"