The

Temple Gallery

Established 1959

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

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YY017. Iverskaya (Portaitissa)

Russian
19th century
30 x 25.9 cmClick here to convert metric size to imperial

£420 [Sold]Click here to convert price to USD or EUR

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The icon belongs to a family of images of the Theotokos known as Hodegetria (Greek: Όδηγήτρια, "she who leads the way") after the prototype from Constantinople. In these icons, the Christ Child sits on his mother's left arm and she is depicted gesturing towards Christ with her right hand.

The original miraculous icon, which legend attributes to the hand of Saint Luke but which probably dates from the 11th century, is in the Iviron monastery on Mount Athos.

In 1648, Patriarch Nikon of Moscow, while he was still Archimandrite of Novospassky Monastery, commissioned an exact copy of the Iviron icon to be made and sent to Russia. Almost immediately upon its arrival on October 13, the icon was "glorified" with numerous miracles attributed to it by the faithful. The Iverskaya Chapel was built in 1669 to enshrine the icon next to the Kremlin walls in Moscow. The chapel was the main entrance to Red Square and traditionally everyone, from the Tsar to the lowliest peasant would stop there to venerate the icon before entering the square. After the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, the chapel was destroyed by the Communists and the fate of the icon is unknown to this day.