Icon of the Theotokos with Christ Child – T20

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A 15th century icon in the Byzantine heritage that was painted in Italy, this icon shows the strong influence that Cretan iconographers had in the 15th and 16th centuries all through the Balkans and the former area of the East Roman or Byzantine Empire then conquered and ruled by their Moslem invaders.  With the oppression of the expressions of Orthodox Christian worship and practice of their religion by Islamic overlords, the main iconography was done outside of the direct influence of that oppression in Crete, the Greek Islands, and even in Italy, especially in Venice.  This icon is one of those that was made at this time in Italy.  It is displayed now in the Recklinghausen Icon Museum in Germany.

Here the Virgin Mary is depicted holding the Divine Infant in her left arm and directing our attention to Him with her right hand.  Her sorrowful eyes and the Child’s adult face show that they  know what lies ahead of them, and that a sword will indeed pierce her heart and and spear His side.  Christ is here carrying a prophet’s scroll in His left hand to show that he is the very fulfillment of all the prophesies made by them about the coming Messiah.

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Hodegetria (Directress)


Recklinghausen Icon Museum, Germany


15th c.