The Theotokos of Vladimir (Владимирская Богоматерь) is a well-known Russian Orthodox icon of the Eleusa type. Eleusa means Tenderness in Greek (Умиление in Russian.) In this icon, the relationship between the Mother and the Child is expressed with great emphasis. Christ embraces His Mother presses His cheek against Hers. Her sorrowful gaze foresees the Passion and She returns maternal love and affection.
Around 1131, the original Vladimirskaya icon traveled from Constantinople to Vyshhorod (Ви́шгород), near Kiev. In 1155, Prince Andrei Bogolyubsky (Князь Андрей Боголюбский) took the icon to the city of Vladimir, from whence it took its name. In 1395, with Moscow in danger of being overrun by Timur's Mongol hordes, the icon was brought to Moscow for safekeeping and installed at the Успенский (Dormition of The Virgin) Cathedral in the Kremlin. There it remained until it was moved to the State Tretyakov Gallery after the Russian Revolution. It was relocated to the Church of St. Nicholas in Tolmachi (part of the State Tretyakov Gallery). An arrangement was made to operate the church with dual status as a house church and part of the museum. The icon remains there today and is only accessible via an underground passage from the gallery to the church, where liturgies are still held.
Images painted on wood with a green felt backing. The halos are hand enameled and the zinc plated copper oklad (metal covering) features fine bas-relief. The enamel plates display the inscriptions and the title of the icon in Church Slavonic. 12 x 10 inches (approximately). Vintage icon (about 40 years old) made in Lodz, Poland. 1 only, as shown.