Gallery - Ikon of the Theotokos
40 x 26 in 101.6 x 68.7 cm
Egg Tempera on Wood Panel
Early 13th Century
Holy Monastery of St. Catherine - Sinai
This ikon of the Vigin comes from a Great Deesis. It shows the Theotokos bending her head towards Christ with her hands outstretched in supplication and adoration. The left hand of the Virgin is beautifully drawn and painted with delicate tapering fingertips.
The face - especially the eyes - is dry and linear in execution. Red lines drawn on the upper eyelids and along the ridge and tip of the nose are artistic affectations to add life and color to the face.
The ikon is unusual because there are four stars on the purple maphorion of Mary; one on the crown of the head and three across the breast, normally there are two.
The ikon of Christ that is paired with this one is also on the website. They were both painted at Sinai.
Photo Credit: Holy Monastery of St. Catherine - Sinai.