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categories  > 3. Icons of the Virgin Mary (6)
THEOTOKOS OF YAROSLAVL ICON - T75
 

THEOTOKOS OF YAROSLAVL ICON - T75

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This is a detail of a famous iconographic masterpiece from 12th c. Russia, probably of the School of Kiev, and is attributed to the first Russian iconographer St. Alipy of the Kiev Caves Lavra. It is a stunning image with colorful golds, reds, yellows and browns blended together to bring out with other masterful lines the striking features of the Virgin looking intently at us across the divide between Heaven and earth. Intelligence with vibrant mercy move on her face of tender feeling as she contemplates the Infinite Lord of wisdom and strength who dwells within her, shown in the circular medallion upon her breast. The Divine Infant's hands are stretched out blessing. His three touching fingers represent the three persons in the Trinity and the two fingers up symbolize His two natures: fully God and fully man. His forefinger is slightly bent to symbolize the descent of God to earth as a man at His Incarnation. This is the iconographic type of the Virgin called "Platytera" or "More spacious than the heavens", and He has come through that Incarnation to manifest and enclose the Uncontainable God within her womb for our sakes.

The original icon was made in egg tempera on wood, and the word "Orans" refers to the early icons found in the Catacombs, showing a woman with hands uplifted in prayer, or in Latin, "orans." The Church Feastday for this icon is July 8th. This is also known as an icon "of the Sign", that sign spoken of by the Prophet Isaiah, for in His being begotten by the Father from a Virgin without seed, God the Word has begun the process that will open for us the gates of Paradise. It is this opening which lets us sing so sweetly, "Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tomb bestowing life."

Aprox size 7"x10"
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