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The Virgin of the Passion

December 17, 2009

This isn’t related to anything except my interest in icon artwork. I’ve always had an interest in icons, and while I know I’ll never become anything resembling a student of the art (in theory or in practice), I do happen to have a little book at hand that does give you a bit of explanation on its components. I’m not trying to spark any kind of debate here –– or, to be honest, even any conversation about this belief or that belief –– I just wanted to share some artwork that I’ve always loved.

From Icons and Saints of the Eastern Orthodox Church:

“The icon (from the Greek eikon, “image”) is a sign of the presence of God. It is the simplest, most immediate form of religious self-awareness that the Byzantine and Slavic people possess. Before the icon, each believer can say: ‘Behold my faith, that in which I believe, in these divine personages and saints, made visible in forms and colors’…It thus becomes clear that what people worship in the icon are not the wood and colors, but what it represents as it travels a path from the visible to the invisible, the material to the spiritual.”

This is one of my favorites, The Virgin of the Passion, also known as Our Lady of Perpetual Help. Here’s more from the handy little book on what’s going on here:

“Compared to icons of the Virgin with the Playing Child, which allude to the Passion subtlely, this image is more explicit: two angels appear beside the Virgin’s nimbus, showing the young Christ the cross, the lance, and the sponge. The angels thus reveal why the Child stirs in his mother’s arms, and why her face appears tense. The child takes fright, and as he begins to move, one of his sandals comes loose.”

That’s all I got for now. Thanks, P.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Britt permalink
    December 17, 2009 11:35 pm


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