Virgin of Vladimir

Virgin of Vladimir

            The Virgin of Vladimir is a Russian icon belonging to the period of Kiev, of the XII century. It represents the Virgin in an mother attitude with the Child Jesus. It is painted on tables with very consistent mineral and vegetable painting, dissolved in egg yolk (temple). The figures of Mary and the Child Jesus are united by the smooth contour line. The face of the mother, affectionate and stern at the same time is brushed with surprising finesse and delicacy, where the color changes are almost imperceptible. Stand out her big eyes, full of deep penalty and immense anxiety for the fate of her son. The older paint layers are mainly retained in the faces of the Virgin and Child. Almost everything else is after painting between the XIII to XVI centuries. It is the masterpiece of the Russian iconography. The author is unknown.

The school of Kiev followed the Byzantine style, althought it went later on to have its own style, obvious features in the selection of colors and the size of the images as well as the expressiveness of the figure. This painting was taken from Constantinople, in Byzantium, to Kiev.
Russian icons are part of the Russian painting of the Middle Ages. This tradition was imported from the Byzantine Empire, which gave the newly Christianized state with the necessary materials for the liturgy, including religious representations of saints and martyrs of religion. Arise the first national schools and start to make icons. At that time, the center of culture was Kiev, now belonging to Ukraine, where possibly the first active painters were Greek or byzantinizied Slavs, who served as teachers for the formation of a local school.

         In conclusion, this painting is one of the most famous and important in the Russian culture and art, as it was very popular in the Old Russia. The Virgin of Vladimir was highly revered in Russia where it was given the nickname of "Mother Russia" and before her, as protector of the country, was crowned the Tsar and established the patriarchs.
This artwork is found in the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, Russia.

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