OVAL ICON OF VIRGIN AND CHILD W/ BRONZE METALLIC BACKGROUND.
This is an oval-shaped, pin-like icon of the Virgin holding the child Jesus against a blue square background, and that background is against a bronze metallic background that covers the whole oval space. Looking at the pin, Mary is on the right side, and holding the child Jesus in her left arm. She is gesturing to him with her right hand. She wears a red and gold robe that covers her head as well. She also wears some sort of blue and gold clothing underneath. She also looks to the left, at the child Jesus. The child Jesus is on the left side, and looks at Mary to His right. He is smaller than Mary. He wears white and gold colored clothing. He points his left pointer finger towards Mary.
To the left of the head of Mary are the letters "MP (theta)Y", which are the first and last Greek letters of the Greek words for "Mother of God".
The Panagia Hodegetria or "Directress" icon depicts the Virgin Mary presenting her son on her left arm to the viewer and with her hand she is gesturing towards him, pointing to Christ as 'The Way'. Christ, on the other hand, has his right hand raised in a gesture of blessing with the index and middle fingers joined (to refer to the two natures of Christ) and his thumb locks over the other fingers (to signify the Holy Trinity).
The term 'Hodegetria' is Greek and translates to 'the One who Shows the Way'. In this icon, although the Virgin Mary is the largest subject, the principal image in the icon is Christ. His presence is like that of an adult.
Typical features of the Hodegetria include the starburst on one or both shoulders and on the part of the blue mantle that covers the forehead. The fringe on the mantle indicates imperial status, as does the throne that is occasionally included in the image. The Virgin Mary's frontal gaze is also a key feature of the Hodegetria type.
This particular icon is missing Christ's finger symbol for the Holy Trinity. Instead, He is pointing to the right, at the Virgin Mary. This icon is also missing the Virgin Mary looking forward. Instead she is looking to the left at the child Jesus.
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Icon, National Hellenic Museum, https://collections.nationalhellenicmuseum.org/Detail/objects/7597. Accessed 06/26/22.