Icon: Our Lady of Vladimir and Church Feasts

Icon: Our Lady of Vladimir and Church Feasts
(click image to zoom-in)
Painting, Tempera on panel, silver and gilding, 103x71 cm
Origin: Russia, Early 17th century, Stroganov Workshops in Solvychegodsk

The Virgin of Vladimir is a type of image of the Virgin, based on an early icon which was probably the most revered image in ancient Rus and which was repeated in numerous icons throughout the ages.

According to legend, the very oldest icon of this type was painted by St Luke and was originally kept in Jerusalem before being moved to Constantinople. In the early 12th century "this" icon was brought from Byzantium to Kiev and later Prince Andrey Bogolyubsky moved it to Vladimir, from which it took its title. The icon was famous for its role in protecting the Slavs from their enemies, including a well-known victory over Tamerlaine in 1395. Since 1480 the icon, in fact of 12th-century Constantinople work, has been kept in Moscow.

One specific feature of the Virgin of Vladimir was the image of the Christ Child, who sits on the Virgin's right hand and pulls his face up towards her cheek, embracing her neck.

This icon was produced in the early 17th century in the workshops of the Stroganov family, rich merchants in the Russian north who commissioned many buildings and works of religious art. Their workshops were in Solvychegodsk and were in existence only a short time. The icons produced here reveal very fine drawing skills, with great attention to small details and a tendency to produce multi-figure compositions .

Personage: The Mother of God and Child
Source of entry: Solvychegodsk Museum, 1956
Theme: The Bible and Christianity

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