Advent Calendar Day 25

Mary and Child

Icon of The Hodegetria and Child

This artwork depicting the Icon of the Hodegetria and Child was likely created in 19th century Russia.
The Hodegetria, which translates to ‘she who shows the way’, was the Byzantine name for a ceremonial image of the Virgin and the Christ Child. She is often depicted with her head inclined and hand pointed toward the baby Jesus, indicating that he is the source of salvation for humankind. It is thought that the first icon of this type was painted by St Luke himself, and sent from Jerusalem to Constantinople by the Eastern Roman Empress Eudocia in 438. It was prized as the most holy treasure in the Byzantine Empire. A very popular Byzantine iconographic type, it then spread throughout the Orthodox world, especially in Russia.
Many copies of the original image have been made, including this one, which can be seen on display in our Asian Crossroads Gallery. It is made with oil on panel and is displayed with a separate gilt brass halo.

Icon of The Virgin Hodegetria and Child
18th Century

Oil on panel
28 x 24.5 cm



Mary and Child