Mother of God of Vladimir

Region: Russia
Period: 17th Century
Size: 31,5 x 27 cm


The Mother of God of Vladimir is one of the most venerated Orthodox icons of the Eleusa (Tenderness) type. According to orthodox tradition, the original icon of the Vladimirskaya was painted by Saint Luke the Evangelist. The iconography of the Vladimirskaya shows the Mother of God holding Christ on her right arm, while her left arm is pointing towards Him. The cheeks of Child and Mother touch one another. Distinctive feature is that Christ shows the heel of his left foot – a reference to Genesis 3,15: “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” Following this line of reasoning, by showing his heel, Christ affirms both his humanity and his divinity. The uncovered heel thus is a forebode to his suffering as well as his victory over death.