Antique 18th Century Russian Icon Mother Of God Of Vladimir The Most Holy Theotokos Vladimirskaya

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Antique 18th century Russian Orthodox Icon of the Mother of God Vladimir, The Most Holy Theotokos Vladimirskaya.

The icon is finely hand painted in tempera on a wooden panel in the traditional Byzantine style.
The Mother of God is represented half-length, with the Christ Child sitting on her right arm, tenderly embracing her neck with both hands. Greek inscriptions on the background read: MP ΘΥ (Μήτηρ Θεοῦ, Mother of God), and IC-XC (Ἰησοῦς Χριστός, Jesus Christ). And inscribed in Cyrillic: The Most Holy Mother of God of Vladimir.
The Vladimir Mother of God is one of the most venerated and widespread images of the Virgin. The iconographic type, also known as Umilyenie in Russian and Glykophilousa (She who embraces gently) or Eleousa (She who shows mercy) in Greek, is ultimately derived from the Mother of God Hodegetria.
The original icon was brought from Constantinople in 1131 and taken to the city of Vladimir on the Klyazma River in 1155, hence its name. In 1395 the icon was moved to Moscow to protect the city from Tamerlane (the final battle against the Russian troops). The icon was then installed in the Uspensky Cathedral (The Dormition of the Virgin Cathedral) in the Moscow Kremlin, where it stayed for centuries, and later to be moved to the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow.

The back of the icon bears an old, hand-incised Cyrillic inscription and the hand-drawn fish "ichthys" symbol (or "Jesus' fish").

The symbolism of the fish emerged from the Greeks - Ichthys.
The fish, which many may have seen in this form <><, originates from the Greek word for fish, "ichthys/ichthus." This word is further defined in the acrostic IXNYy (with the N flipped), which translates to:

I – Iota or Iesous (which means Jesus)

X – Chi or Christos (which means Christ)

N – Theta or Theou (which means God)

Y – Upsilon or Yidos/Huios (which means Son)

Y – Sigma or Soter (which means Savior).
Basically, the fish represents the phrase "Jesus Christ God's Son is Savior.

CONDITION: shows age and use.
Old scratches and chips in the paint, the back of the wood panel with a very dark old patina, and age abrasions.

Originally the icon had two wooden shaped slats (SHPONKI) inserted without glue into the back of the panel into shaped guides to prevent warping, which are missing since the wood dried unevenly over the years and the wooden slats shrunk.
Originally, the icon had two wooden shaped slats (SHPONKI) inserted without glue at the back of the panel into shaped guides, which prevented warping. Unfortunately, they are missing because the wood has dried unevenly over the years, and the wooden slats have shrunk and fallen out of the guides. With time, the wooden panel lacking slats has become warped and now has a convex shape.
All these signs confirm that the icon is old, at least from the 18th century.

Please see all photos in the listing, as they are part of the description of the item's condition.

30 cm x 22 cm. (11.81 inches x 8.66 inches).

accompanied by a certificate of authenticity


Item Details

Reference #:
Antiques (approx100yrs)
18th century
(Width x Height X Depth)
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