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Our Lady of Vladimir

Our Lady of Vladimir



CARDS: Printery House, US

CODE: CA6779

SIZE: 11cm X 15cm

Includes Envelope

  • On the back of the card:


    Icons of Mary and the Christ Child have a long and rich tradition in the Eastern churches. The first one was painted by Luke with Mary herself as a model according to ancient legend. There are more than 150 named versions in Russian iconography alone. These icons are much more than portraits of mother and child. They are the principle images of the Incarnation (God become man), and of the Church, representing communion of the Divine (the Child/Word of God) and the human (Mary).

    The original Our Lady of Vladimir was painted by an anonymous Byzantine iconographer in the style of the Macedonian period (857 – 1056 AD). The icon was brought to Kiev in 1131, then moved to the city of Vladimir in 1155, thus its present name. In 1395, it was again transferred to Moscow where it remains to this day, now in the Tretyakov Gallery. This icon is one of the most famous and frequently copied of all time, due to its extraordinary beauty and to its long association with Russian culture. Our reproduction is of a twentieth century rendering, clearly and beautifully executed by Sister Mary Charles.

    The young Jesus presses his cheek to his mother’s, wrapping his left arm around her neck. Mary holds Him close with her right arm, and gestures toward Him with the left, as if to say to us: “Behold the Lamb of God! Behold the Incarnate Word!”. Both faces are drawn to convey theological meaning rather than realistic faces. Jesus’ face shows affection for his mother, but the large, expressive eyes show divine depths of wisdom and experience. Mary’s mouth is thin and narrow in the silence of contemplation. Wisdom and beauty are expressed by her long nose and overlarge eyes. Her gaze is toward the viewer, but you cannot make eye contact. Mary is gazing at infinity or gazing within, with an ineffable expression of sorrow and tenderness.

    “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior” Luke 1:46-7

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