Cretan Icon I by 15th Century School



Title

Cretan Icon I

Artist

15th Century School

Ref GM1723
Type Fine Art Print
Image Size 12" x 16" (30 x 40 cm)
Price Add to basket
Description  
This icon has been in Rome since 1499, and is currently in the church of Sant'Alfonso di Liguori all'Esquilino. Due to the Redemptorist Priests who had been appointed as missionaries of this icon, the image has become very popular among Roman Catholics in particular, and has been very much copied and reproduced. Modern reproductions are sometimes displayed in homes, business establishments, and public transportation. The Redemptorist priests are the only religious order currently entrusted by the Holy See to protect and propagate a Marian religious work of art. The icon has merited two Papal endorsements, one from Pope Pius IX who entrusted the icon to the Redemptorist in December 1865, and another from Blessed Pope John Paul II, who presented an icon to a Muslim cleric in May 2001 during his first-ever visit to the Umayyad Mosque. The original wooden icon suspended in the altar measures 17" × 21" inches and is painted on hard nut wood with a gold leaf background. The image depicts the Blessed Virgin Mary wearing a dress of dark red, representing the Passion of Jesus, with a blue mantle, representing her perpetual virginity, and cloaked veil, which represents her pure modesty. On the left side is the Saint Archangel Michael, carrying the lance and sponge of the crucifixion of Jesus. On the right is the Saint Archangel Gabriel carrying a 3-bar cross used by Popes at the time and nails. The Virgin Mary has a star on her forehead, signifying her role as Star of the Sea while the cross on the side has been claimed as to the school which has produced this icon. The Byzantine depictions of the Blessed Virgin Mary in art has three stars, one star each on the shoulder and one on the forehead. This type of icon is called Hodegetria composition, where Saint Mary is also pointing to her Son, known as a Theotokos of the Passion. The Greek inscriptions reads 'MP-ΘΥ (Mother of God); OAM (Archangel Michael); OAΓ (Archangel Gabriel); and Iς-Xς (Jesus Christ ), respectively. The icon is painted with a gold background on a walnut panel which was probably painted in the islands of Crete, which at the time was then ruled by the Republic of Venice.