Two-sided icon: Virgin Hodegetria

National Museum in BelgradeThird quarter of the 14th century

Museums of Serbia

Museums of Serbia
Belgrade, Serbia

The face side of the icon displays a representation of the Mother of God with Christ on her left arm. It belongs to the iconographic type originating from the famous prototype - the Virgin Hodegetria - which points at the path of salvation in Christ. The Annunciation is painted on the back of the icon. This option, along with Hodegetria, emphasises the idea of incarnation as the salvation basis, as well as the role of the Mother of God in it. The icon is distinguished by solemn, strict and balanced painting, beautiful characters illuminated with white accents and monumental figures. Based on the style, it dates to the third quarter of the 14th century and is attributed to the Thessaloniki workshop. Parts of the icon were copied in the 17th century. On the gilded, silver mount frame with a floral ornament, symbolising the Garden of Eden, the figures of Christ, archangels and apostles are featured. The framing was a sign that the icon was particularly admired, and the frame as such represents a link with painted holy figures for the faithful. The representations on the frame introduced the motif of prayer into the iconographic arrangement of the icon, which directs the faithful to Christ and the Mother of God.


  • Title: Two-sided icon: Virgin Hodegetria
  • Creator: National Museum in Belgrade
  • Date Created: Third quarter of the 14th century
  • Location Created: Belgrade,Serbia, Church of the Mother of God Perivlepta, Ohrid
  • Type: icon
  • Art Movement: Byzantine art

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