Madonna and Child on a Curved Throne - 3 Framed OptionsThis image of the Madonna and Child on a Curved Throne is an icon. The style and subject matter depicted suggest that the panel was part of the Byzantine artistic tradition that produced art for the Eastern Orthodox Church. However because the Enthroned Madonna and Child was a universally recognized and employed artistic type throughout the Christian world, scholars are still in debate as to where this icon was produced and who it was created for.
The Virgin is seated upon a large and elaborate throne signifying her status as the Queen of Heaven. She gestures with her hand towards the Christ Child, which reveals that she is a “Hodegetria” Madonna, a type of Byzantine Madonna that points the way to Christ as the one who will save the world. An icon of Theotokos Hodegetria, believed to have been painted by Saint Luke, attracted many to the Hodegon monastery in Constantinople. In this painting the Christ Child has a cruciform halo around his head signifying his divine nature.
He raises his right hand in blessing, and in his left hand he holds a scroll which symbolizes the Word of God. There is very little sense of the physical bodies of the Madonna and Child underneath their richly colored robes. The Madonna’s body in particular has been flattened and abstracted. Shading and modeling are only attempted on their faces. The overall effect is hieratic and formal, but the solid gold background which indicates the celestial realm illuminates the Madonna and Child and makes them look regal, but also gentle. The medallions containing two archangels holding the orb and scepter, symbols of imperial and divine rulership, also add to the holiness and power of this image.
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Whether you purchase for yourself, or as a gift to others, you will love this reminder of God's goodness and unfailing love. It makes a great way to share your faith and anyone who receives it will treasure it.
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