Size: 20 x 24 cm or 7 3/4 x 9 1/2 inches.
The Theotokos of Vladimir (Greek: Θεοτόκος του Βλαντιμίρ), also known as Our Lady of Vladimir, Vladimir Mother of God, or Virgin of Vladimir (Russian: Владимирская Икона Божией Матери) is a medieval Byzantine icon of the Virgin and Child. In 1169 Yury Dolgoruky sacked Kyiv (Kiev), and after plundering the city, stealing much religious artwork, including the Byzantine "Mother of God" icon which was transferred to Vladimir, (for references see Yury Dolgoruky). It is one of the most venerated Orthodox icons and a fine and early example of the iconography of the Eleusa type. The Theotokos (Greek for Virgin Mary, literally meaning "Birth-Giver of God") is regarded as the holy protectress of Russia. The icon is displayed in the Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow in a former church in the grounds of the museum. Her feast day is June 23rd o.s. / July 6th n.s. Even more than most famous icons, the original has been copied repeatedly for centuries, and many copies have considerable artistic and religious significance of their own. The icon is a version of the Eleusa (tenderness) type, with the Christ child snuggling up to his mother's cheek.
Unlike some icons with a special following in religious terms the high artistic quality of the work is universally agreed, and the Vladimirskaya, as Russians call it, is generally accepted as the finest of the few Byzantine icons surviving from its period, and according to the art historian David Talbot Rice "is admitted by all who have seen it to be one of the most outstanding religious paintings of the world".
With love to all.