Russia Religion Subjects Virgin Mary Virgin Hodegetria

Virgin Hodegetria

The Virgin Hodegetria (Greek: “she who points the way”) is named after the famous Byzantine icon from the Hodegon Monastery in Constantinople. The original image depicted the Mother of God turned towards the viewer and holding the Child, who raises His hand in blessing. Mary points to Christ as the path to salvation.

Many different versions of the Virgin Hodegetria have been painted over the centuries. In Russia, for example, there was the Virgin Hodegetria of Smolensk, Tikhvin, Jerusalem, Kazan and Georgia. While differing in the details, all versions retain their common elements of austerity and majesty.

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