Temple Gallery

Established 1959

Virgin Hodegitria - exhibited at the Temple Gallery, specialists in Russian icons

S009. Virgin Hodegitria
Russian - Vologda School, circa 1550
122 x 94.5 cm Click here to convert metric size to imperial
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Detail images from this icon may be viewed by clicking on one of the links below.

1. The Virgin's head

2. The Child's head

3. Virgin and Child

4. Top left corner panel

5. Top row panels second from left

6. Top row centre panel

7. Top right corner panel

8. Left side panels second from top

9. Right side panels second from top

10. Left side panels third from top

11. Right side panels third from top

12. Left side panels third from bottom

13. Right side panels third from bottom

14. Left side panels second from bottom

15. Right side panels second from bottom

16. Bottom left corner panel

17. Bottom row centre panel

18. Bottom row panels second from right

19. Bottom right corner panel

(The following is an extract from the catalogue 'MASTERPIECES OF EARLY CHRISTIAN ART AND ICONS')


With 18 Scenes from her Life and the Life
of her parents Joachim and Anna


Vologda, with Northern (Novgorod) influence

circa 1550

Tempera and gold on gesso and wood

Panel: 122 x 94.5 cm


Private Collection, Germany

This sixteenth-century Russian icon depicting the Virgin Mary and Christ Child is based on a prototype believed, in popular tradition, to have been painted during the Virgin's lifetime by the evangelist St. Luke, and enshrined in the Hodegos monastery in Constantinople [see footnote 1]. The image was venerated in Byzantium and later in Russia as one of the most powerful of the miracle-working icons of the Mother of God. In Russian culture, the veneration of the Virgin was a constant theme: cathedrals were dedicated to her, hymns extolled her, and icons were painted in her honour. With the fall of Byzantium and the rise of the Muscovite state, the possession and veneration of icons linked with the Byzantine Empire carried a new significance, as now the rulers of Muscovy assumed the mantle of leadership in the Orthodox world and carried forward the sacred traditions of Byzantium. [see footnote 2 ]

The full article, by Scott Ruby, can be read in the published catalogue 'MASTERPIECES OF EARLY CHRISTIAN ART AND ICONS'.