Virgin of Hodegetria

Icon of the Virgin Hodegetria, 12th century. Tempera and silver on wood, Kastoria, Byzantine Museum.

This double-sided icon depicts two of the most influential images in Byzantine art: The Virgin Hodegetria and the Man of Sorrows. In Marian iconography the Virgin Hodegetria (“she who points the way”) points to the Christ child as the path to salvation as he raises his hand in blessing. Tradition states that the Hodegon Monastery in Constantinople held the Icon of the Hodegetria that was believed to have been painted by Saint Luke. The opposite side of this version depicts Jesus after the Crucifixion, laid out for burial with his arms at his sides. In the Byzantine era, icons like this were carried in procession on Good Friday.

Icon of the Virgin Hodegetria, 12th century.

Relating to the Byzantine empire, which ruled the Eastern Mediterranean from the fifth century CE to 1453; its capital was Byzantium (modern Istanbul).

The Christian holiday, two days before Easter Sunday, that commemorates Jesus' death.

A religious work of art often depicting a religious figure, as in a painting.

A person deemed holy by a religious tradition, especially in Roman Catholicism.

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