Vladimir Mother of God Diptych. The Theotokos of Vladimir is a well-known Orthodox icon of the Eleusa type, which means Tenderness in Greek (Umileniye in Russian.) The relationship between Mother and Child is expressed with great emphasis. Christ, as a child, touches his Mother's face with one hand and presses His cheek against Hers. Her sorrowful gaze foresees His Passion and She embraces Him affectionately and maternally.
In about 1131, this icon came from Constantinople to Vychgorod, near Kiev. In 1155, Prince Andre Bogolyubsky took it to the city of Vladimir, from whence it took its name. In 1395, with Moscow in danger of being overrun by Tamerlane's Mongol hordes, the icon was brought to the Uspensky (Dormition of The Virgin) Cathedral in the Moscow Kremlin. After Tamerlane retreated, the icon was returned to Vladimir. In 1480 it was again placed in the Moscow Kremlin.
The icon of "Christ the Teacher" is a variant of the Pantocrator image. One hand blesses while the other hand holds the New Testament open to the passage from John 13:34 "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another." The inscriptions in Slavonic are: "Jesus Christ" and "He Who Is" around the halo.
Chromo-lithographic icons printed on gold and silver foil and mounted beneath metal rizas (oklad). Housed in a decorated cloth case. Made in Russia. 5½" x 4½" when closed. One only.