The

Temple Gallery

Established 1959

Virgin of the Sign - exhibited at the Temple Gallery, specialists in Russian icons

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WW023. Virgin of the Sign

Russian
19th century
31 x 27.2 cmClick here to convert metric size to imperial

£2,200Click here to convert price to USD or EUR

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The Virgin shown in half-length. Her arms are raised upwards in a position of prayer known as the Orans (literally means one who is praying). She is clothed in the classical maphorion. Her eyes are directed slightly to her left as she gazes into the mid-distance suggesting an expression of contemplation. In the centre of her chest is an aureole with a half-length depiction of Christ Emmanuel. He also gazes to his left, while his right hand blesses the onlooker and his left hand holds a scroll. Behind him in the aureole are rays of golden light and stars figuring the celestial realm. The Christ Emmanuel typology represents Jesus as the eternal, pre-existent Logos, the creator of the universe; a theme beautifully expressed in the opening of John's gospel: 'In the beginning was the Word [Logos], and the Word was with God, and the Word was God' (John 1:1; cf. 1 Cor. 1:30; Hebrew 1:3; Wisdom 9:9; Sirach 24:9). Another writer states that the icon of Emmanuel 'represents the principle of Sophia, the Divine Wisdom' as the iconography shows Christ with youthful proportions, yet wizened face, and thus 'eternally young and old at once'.[1]




Footnotes:-
1. Alfredo Tradigo [ed.], Icons and Saints of the Eastern Orthodox Church, (Los Angeles, The J. Paul Getty Museum, 2004). p. 227

Detail Images