Antique Russian icon of the Vladimir Mother of God of Tenderness. Painted in oils on board with a silver oklad (cover) and gold wash and etching. Silver "84" mark on front. In good condition, some of gilding rubbed away, one side of cover missing, another partially. Circa 1900. 1¾" x 2". (4.45 x 5cm).
The Vladimir icon is one of the most venerated of Russian Orthodox icons and is regarded as the holy protectress of Russia. It is known as "Eleusa", which means Tenderness in Greek (and Umileniye in Russian.) The relationship between Mother and Child is expressed with great emphasis. Christ, as a child, touches his Mother's face with His cheek against Hers. Her sorrowful gaze foresees the Passion and She embraces Him affectionately and maternally.
The original Vladimir icon is many centuries old. It received its name due to the fact that it originated circa 1155 in Vladimir, which was the religious capital at that time. Later, after Moscow became the religious capital, it was moved there in 1395, where it has remained until now in the Tretyakov Gallery.