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Icons of the Theotokos

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{{stub}}[[Image:Luke first icon.jpg|right|frame|The [[Apostle Luke]] painting an icon of the Theotokos ]]Theologically, the '''icons of the [[Theotokos]]''' represent the first human being who realized the goal of the [[Incarnation]]: the [[theosis|deification]] of man. This is in contrast of to the icons of [[Christ]], the basis for all [[iconography]], representing God who became man. ==Description and symbols==Iconographers of all times tried to show in the image of Theotokos as much beauty, gentleness, dignity and grandeur as they could imagine. They sometimes paint grief, and sometimes sorrowful, but always filled with spiritual strength and wisdom.  The Most Pure Lady is always shown with her head covered with a veil, which drops to her shoulders, according to the tradition of Jewish women of that time. This veil or head covering is usually colored red to show her suffering and her acquired holiness. Under her veil her clothing is blue, symbolizing the humanity of the Theotokos.  There are three golden stars, one on the forehead and one on each shoulder of the Most Holy Theotokos. These stars symbols of her virginity. She was a virgin before, during, and after the [[Nativity]] of Christ. The three stars are also a symbol of the [[Holy Trinity]]. Sometimes the third star is covered by the figure of the Christ Child the second person of the Holy Trinity.  
==Number of types==
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. There are five main types of representation of the Theotokos in Orthodox iconography: * The Guide; '''Hodigitria ''' - In this type, the Ever Virgin Mary is holding Christ and pointing toward Him, as a guide to God and salvation. * Tender Mercy; '''Eleusa''' - In this type, the Theotokos holds her Son, who touches his face to hers and wraps at least one arm around her neck or shoulder. The Theotokos represents the Church of Christ, thereby displaying the fullness of love between God and man, a love that can only be achieved within the bosom of church, the Mother. * All Merciful, '''Panakranta''' – In this type, Mary is regally enthroned with Baby Jesus on her lap, both facing the viewer. The throne symbolizes her royal glory, she alone is perfect among those born on earth. According to the [[Fourth Ecumenical Council]], she presides with Christ over the destiny of the world.* Intercessor, '''Agiosortissa''' – Mary is shown alone, in profile with her hands held out in supplication. She is facing to her left, usually to a separate icon of Christ. * Praying, - '''Oranta''' , Panagia , Lady of the Sign - In this type, Mary is shown with arms in ornate position, with Christ enclosed in a circle in her womb. "Of the Sign," is a reference to the words of Isaias 7:14, "The Lord himself shall give you a sign. Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel."  The calendar of the [[Rusian Church of Russia|Russian Church]], where iconography of the Virgin is highly developed, mentions 260 of her icons noted for meracles miracles and celebrated liturgically. The [[Menaion]] of Sergius numbers the designations of Most Holy Theotokos icons at 700. 
The tradition attributes St. [[Apostle Luke|Luke]] with painting the first icons of the Theotokos. We know of three types he painted. : "Umilenie" (Our Lady of Tenderness), "Hodigitria" (She who leads the way), and a third type, of her without a childor praying to the Christ child. (The facts of the third type are confused). <gallery>Image:Blachernitissa_MtSinai.jpg|Close up of BlachernitissaImage:MtSinai_Ic_5images.jpg|Ancient icon with five images of the Theotokos and 36 images of Christ's miracles and passionsImage:MtSinai_Ic_5imagesCU. jpg|Close up of five images of the TheotokosImage:Hagiosoritissa_MtSinai_5.jpg|Close up of Hagiosoritissa</gallery> 
<!---alphabeticised--->Image:Theotekos Agiosortissa.JPG|Panagia Agiosortissa''(Agiosortissa)''Image:Akathist Hymn to the Theotokos icon.jpg|Akathyst Hymn to the Theotokos''(Hodigitria)''Image:It is truly meet.JPG|[[Panagia Axion Esti|Axion Estin - It is Truly Meet]]Image:Panag Chrysafitissa.jpg|[[Panagia Chrysafitissa|Panagia Chrysafitissa]]Image:panagia_tou_xarou.jpg|[[Panagia tou Harou]] (Leipsi island, Greece)Image:Panagia_Kamariani.jpg|[[Panagia Kamariani|Panagia Kamariani - original (Australia)]]Image:Koukouzelissa.jpg|[[Panagia Koukouzelissa]]Image:Kursk Root Icon of the Theotokos.jpg|[[Kursk Root icon|Kursk Root of the Theotokos]]''(Oranta)''Image:Our Lady of Kazan.jpg|[[Our Lady of Kazan]] ''(Hodigitria)''
Image:MOGJOAWS.jpg|[[Mother of God Joy of All Who Sorrow]]
Image:Tikhvin Theotokos.jpg|[[Theotokos of Tikhvin]]''(Hodigitria)''Image:Theotokos of Vladimir.jpg|[[Theotokos of Vladimir]] ''(UmilenieEleusa)''Image:Sanctityoflife sm.jpg|Our Lady of Kasperova ''(Eleusa)''Image:Theotokos of Czestochowa.jpg|Our Lady of Czestochowa ''(Hodigitria)''Image:Theotekos Oranta.JPG|The Great Panagia''(Oranta)''Image:PantanassaMystra.JPG|[[Panagia Pantanassa]] of Mystra, GreeceImage:Panagia_Paramythea.jpg|[[Panagia Paramythea]] of Vatopaidi Monastery, Mt AthosImage:Mother of God of the Passion.JPG|[[Theotokos of the Passion]] ''(Hodigitria)''Image:Phaneromeni.jpg|[[Panagia Phaneromene]], Chiliomodi (Corinth, Greece)Image:Portaitissa.jpg|[[Panagia Portaitissa]] ''(Hodigitria)''Image:Tricherousa.jpg|'''[[Panagia Tricherousa]]''', Our Lady with the Three HandsImage:Panagia_Spiliani.jpg|[[Panagia Spiliani|The Virgin of the Cave]]Image:Life_Giving_Spring.jpg|[[Panagia the Life Giving Spring|Panagia the Life Giving Spring]]Image:Unburnt Bush.JPG|[[Theotokos the Unburnt Bush icon|Panagia of the Unburnt Bush icon]]
*''Theology of the Icon'' by [[Leonid Alexandrovich Ouspensky |Leonid Ouspensky]] ISBN 0-88141-124-8==External link==*[ Icons of the Mother of God] - [[OCA]] website lists icons by feast date of the icon. 
[[Category:About Icons]]
[[Category:Icons of the Theotokos|*]]
[[ro:Icoanele Maicii Domnului]]

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