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Athos Holy Mount

Portable Icons
2.122 Virgin and Child (The Joy of All)
Wood, egg tempera, 43 x 34.5 x 4 cm


The Original New Testament

The Mother of God (M(HTH)P Θ(EO)Y H ΠANT(ΩN) XAPA), in the type of the Virgin Glykophilousa (Baltoyanni 1994, pp.17-21) is shown half-length facing left, with her head slightly inclined towards the Christ Child, who has lifted His face to touch His Mother's left cheek. Christ holds an unopened scroll in both hands. The Virgin wears a red maphorion and Christ a dark-green chiton and over this a brick-coloured himation with dense gold striations, which leaves His left leg exposed up to the thigh, a typical feature of this iconographic type.

The exposed parts of the two bodies are rendered with dark brown modelling, with a few white brush-strokes for the highlights. The artist clearly wanted to produce an elaborately decorative work, as can be seen not only from the drapery but also from the Virgin's halo and the wide border of the icon. At the base of the icon is the inscription: ΔEHCIC TOY ΔOYΛOY TOY Θ(EO)Y ΔIONICIOY M(O)N(A)X(OY). ETOYC ZPM, AXΛB (`Prayer of the servant of God, the monk Dionysios. In the year 7140 [from the Creation of the world], 1632'). According to Smyrnakis the icon `was placed on the triskelion (icon stand) during the reading of the Salutations to the Virgin each Friday during Lent.'

Bibliography: Smyrnakis 1988, p. 697 (1633). Millet - Pargoire - Petit 1904, no. 30 (1633).

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