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This Virgin is a variation on the more frequent type of the Hodegetria. The reserved expression of the Mother of God, her clenched right palm, the crossed legs of the Child, which does not hold the scroll, as he usually does, but only rests it on his knee, are some of the most striking iconographic features of this composition. The use of minute mosaic tesserae resembles brushstrokes. At the same time, the halo outlines, the ornate decorative themes in the background and the border, simulate Byzantine enamel works. Mosaic icons were particularly popular in Constantinople; thus, the icon must almost certainly originate from the capital itself.


Details

Mosaic on wood
c. 1200
44,6 Χ 33,5 cm
St. Catherine's Monastery Saint Catherine, South Sinai Governorate