The Virgin Orans

Unknown11 th c.

St. Sophia of Kyiv

St. Sophia of Kyiv
Kyiv, Ukraine

Its height is 6 m. Circa 2 mln of tesserae were used in a mosaic set. It is one biggest monumental examples of Old Rus art. “Orans” in Greek means “praying”. This image is one of the main iconographic types of the portrayal of the Virgin Mary that presents her image with her hands raised in prayer. The Virgin Orans is called “the Unbreakable Wall”. From ancient times it is believed that as long as the image of the Virgin Orans is in St. Sophia so long the city of Kyiv and all Rus stand.


  • Title: The Virgin Orans
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 11 th c.
  • Type: monumental painting, mosaic

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