Icon of the Theotokos (13th Century) – T74

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This late 13th century icon of the Hodegetria or Directress is one side of a processional double-sided icon, the reverse being an icon of the Crucifixion.  It is now located in the icon gallery of Saint Clement’s Church in Ochrid, Macedonia and originally was painted for that church, probably by a well-skilled iconographer who came from Constantinople with one of the Archbishops frequently sent in those years.  Only this side has a metal riza or cover to protect, embellish, and show reverence to this icon.

Here we see deep purples and green tones in the robes of the Virgin, and wonderful shades of ochre and green on her face, with the oval shape and finely developed features of the Theotokos or Birth-Giver of God showing the masterful hand of the master iconographer who remains unknown to us.  The use of shadow, expressive lines on the eyes and nose, and strong lines on the hands give a power and mobility to this icon which expresses the theological truth that the Saints continue to grow in all Eternity, for this is in essence a picture of the Virgin both now and also at the end of time.  The Lord is truly wondrous in His Saints, and in His Mother.

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Hodegetria (Directress)




St. Clement Church Gallery, Ochrid, Macedonia


13th c. (Late)