The Mother of God is shown with the child on her right arm. It corresponds to the type of Umilenie icon, which was developed in Byzantium in the 11th century. The Mother of God turns lovingly to the child. The intimate relationship between the two becomes clearly visible, whereby the sorrowful expression of Mother of God is intended to indicate that she can already foresee the Passion that lies in the future.
The icon of Mother of God of Vladimir is celebrated by the Russian Orthodox Church on three different feast days: May 21, June 23 and August 26. She is the most important and famous of all of Russia’s miraculous icons.
The depiction of Christ Pantocrator, the “Almighty“ or “all-powerful”” is considered the archetype of all icons. Through the Incarnation, Christ himself is the word and the image, the word of inexpressible mysteries and the image of the invisible God. At the Council of Nicea in 325 it was affirmed that Christ is the visible and perfect image of the Father. The image of the Pantocrator becomes a symbol of the iconoclast in the Byzantine Church. John of Damascus, among others, defended the portrayal. In the Western Church there is a similar motif, more reminiscent of secular rulers, the Majestas Domini (“Glory of the Lord”).
In Orthodoxy, a pair of icons are gifted to bless the bride and groom at the wedding ceremony. The icons, usually matching in size and style and depicting the Savior and the Mother of God are called “Wedding Icons” or “The Wedding Pair”. The icons are meant to bless the Holy Matrimony on Earth and in Heavens and to accompany the spouses throughout their lives. According to tradition, the icons are to become a family heirloom to be inherited by future generations.