Product Code: P1524 [ custom-made ]
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"There is no other subject in iconography, besides Christ, that has been painted so often and with so much love, as the image of the Theotokos. In this type (Hodigitria - The Guide), the Ever Virgin Mary is holding Christ and pointing toward Him, as a guide to God and salvation.
The Panagia Hodegetria or "Directress" icon depicts the Virgin Mary presenting her son on her left arm to the viewer and with her hand she is gesturing towards him, pointing to Christ as 'The Way'. Christ, on the other hand, has his right hand raised in a gesture of blessing with the index and middle fingers joined (to refer to the two natures of Christ) and his thumb locks over the other fingers (to signify the Holy Trinity). The term 'Hodegetria' is Greek and translates to 'the One who Shows the Way'. In this icon, although the Virgin Mary is the largest subject, the principal image in the icon is Christ. His presence is like that of an adult. Typical features of the Hodegetria include the starburst on one or both shoulders and on the part of the blue mantle that covers the forehead. The fringe on the mantle indicates imperial status, as does the throne that is occasionally included in the image. The Virgin Mary's frontal gaze is also a key feature of the Hodegetria type. The odd letters on the left and right and level with the top of the Virgin's head appear to be an adaptation of the usual inscription that occupies this position in other Hodegetrias: "MP θY" -- the first and last Greek letters of the Greek words for "Mother of God..."
-- Source: OrthodoxWiki