icon: Korsunskaya Mother of God

Number: 013 Period: 17th/18th century
Name: icon: Korsunskaya Mother of God Size: 35,5 x 31 cm
Origin: Russia Price: sold

According to tradition, all icons of the Mother of God in Orthodox iconography stem from two ‘originals’ painted by St Luke during the Virgin’s lifetime. In one (Hodegetria or ‘guide’), we see her formally presenting the Christ Child to the world, drawing our attention to him by the gesture of her right hand; in the other (Oumileinye or ‘loving-kindness’), the two figures are shown embracing.

The great majority of the different ‘types’ of the Mother of God (of which there are more than eight hundred) derive from these two prototypes.

The Korsun Virgin, like the Virgin of Vladimir or the Virgin of the Don, is an example of the Oumileinye (‘loving-kindess’) type. The original is said to have been brought from Chersonesus, an important Byzantine city on the Black Sea, to Kiev by Prince Vladimir the Great in 988.

This shoulder-length Oemileinye (Tenderness) image depicts the Mother of God and infant Christ in a “tender” cheek-to-cheek embrace. The Mother of God inclines markedly towards her Child, who reaches up to caress His mother.

This icon type was much favoured for devotional use within homes and this icon almost certainly existed within a domestic setting.


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