Panel from a Cover for an Icon of the Virgin

Date: ca. 1100

Geography: Made in Constantinople

Culture: Byzantine

Medium: Cloisonné enamel, gold, copper

Dimensions: Overall: 2 1/4 x 4 1/4in. (5.7 x 10.8cm)
Mount: 14 x 16 x 7/8 in. (35.6 x 40.6 x 2.2 cm)

Classification: Enamels-Cloisonné

Credit Line: Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917

Accession Number: 17.190.644

Description

This revetment is one of four (acc. nos. 17.190.645–.648) that were once part of a cover for an icon of the Virgin Hagiosoritissa, or "Virgin of the Holy Soros (Reliquary Chest)." Named for the church in Constantinople in which the original icon was kept, this popular icon type displays the Virgin turning to the side with her hands raised in a gesture of supplication. The original icon would have included small semicircle at the upper left that displayed a small image of Christ in heaven to whom her prayers were directed. The central fragments formed part of the Virgin's halo, and the cut-out at the bottom left shows the contours of the Virgin's raised hands.

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