The Mother of God is depicted with the child on her right arm. It corresponds to the type of Umilenie, which was developed in Byzantium in the 11th century. Our Lady lovingly turns to the child. The intimate relationship between the two becomes clearly visible, with the painful expression of Our Lady indicating that she can already foresee the Passion in the future.
The icon of the Mother of God of Vladimir is celebrated by the Russian Orthodox Church on three different feast days, on May 21, June 23 and August 26. It is the most important and famous of all the miraculous icons of Russia. Each feast day is associated with a great miracle of the icon, which is considered one of the three portraits of Our Lady painted by the Apostle Luke with the Child in her arms: when Mary saw these three pictures, she said: “I will now be given by all peoples, the blessed goodness born of me will also be mine with the holy icons”. The icon, the later Vladimirskaya, was then brought from Jerusalem to Constantinople in the middle of the 5th century and from there, according to tradition, sent to Kiev in the middle of the 12th century by the Patriarch of Constantinople, Grand Duke Yuri Dolgoruki. The picture was placed by him in the Virgin Monastery Devičij in Vyshhorod (near Kiev). In 1155, the prince of Vyshhorod took it on his campaign to the north. On the way, people prayed in front of the icon and she performed miracles. When the Kljasma River was reached, the horses carrying the icon could not go any further. The prince called the place Bogolyubovo (“loved by God”) and built two churches here, in one of which the icon found its place. Later, a nunnery and the city of Bogolyubov were added. On September 21, 1160, the icon was brought to the city of Vladimir in the newly built great cathedral there. From that time on, the icon was called “Vladimirskaya”. Today, the icon is in the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow.