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 Russia in the 19th century.

The Hodegetria, which translates to ‘she who shows the way’, was the Byzantine name for a particular depiction of the Virgin and the Christ Child in which the Mary is shown with her head inclined and hand pointed toward the baby Jesus, indicating that he is the source of salvation for humankind.

It was said that the very first icon of this type was painted by St Luke himself and was sent to Constantinople in 438. It was prized as the most holy treasure in the Byzantine Empire, and the image 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. The oil on panel painting is displayed with a separate gilt brass halo.

Icon of The Virgin Hodegetria and Child
19th Century

Oil on panel
28 x 24.5 cm

On display on Level 1


Mary and Child