The Virgin Hodegetria

12th century
Mosaic
Palatine Chapel, Palermo, Sicily.

Unlike most icons of the Virgin Hodegetria this mosaic shows her standing full-figure on a pedestal. Otherwise it is in harmony with the ancient versions: In a blue robe and golden mantle that covers her head, Mary looks the viewer in the eye and points to the Christ Child, who holds his right hand in the blessing configuration.

The inscription starts with the usual abbreviation for the Greek meter theou, "Mother of God." Below that in two halves is the Greek word Hodegetria, "she who shows the way."

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More of portraits of the Virgin Mary

Photographed at the chapel by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.