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Theotokos Sign Category List
Znamenny, meaning Of the Sign, is the name given to this Mother of God prototype. The icon of The Mother of God of the Sign is a symbolic image whose meaning is derived from the Old Testament. The icon portrays the prophecy given to Isaiah, “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you this sign: the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel.” Isaiah 7.14. Thus the icon of The Theotokos of the Sign, which depicts the Mother of God with the figure of Christ Immanuel superimposed upon her bosom, is a visual manifestation of the prophecy described in the book of Isaiah. A distinctive feature of this icon type is the figure of Christ Immanuel enclosed within a circle, sometimes interpreted as a shield, which represents Christ in the womb. Christ Immanuel may also be depicted inside the mandorla, a symbol of light, which is expressive of the heavenly glory and divine nature of The Son of God. The raised arms and outstretched hands of The Mother of God is also a distinctive feature of this icon and is characteristic of the Orans and Divine Mother of God prototype. The Theotokos of the Sign is among the earliest iconographic images portraying The Mother of God. Two of the oldest icons of this prototype surviving in modern times include a 4th century image in the catacombs of St. Agnes in Rome and a 6th century icon from the Byzantine Empire. Several variations of this prototype also exist. The Mother of God may be represented in either full or half-length figure. In some examples fiery Seraphim and angels flank the lower corners of the image, with The Virgin’s figure rising above the angels. The basis of this variation is the hymn to the Mother of God from the Divine Liturgy, “More honorable than the cherubim and beyond compare more glorious than the seraphim.” In Russian iconostasis it is common to find this image in the Deisis row among the images of the prophets. This placement emphasizes the prophecy of the birth of Christ. The image of Theotokos of the Sign may also be used in the Deisis in place of the image of the prophet Isaiah. The Theotokos Of The Sign is truly a meditative icon as an image that signifies the realization of Old Testament prophecy and emphasizes the actualization of the incarnation of the divine nature of God to the flesh through the fulfillment of prophecy.
Image Stock # Size Period Price
119310.5x12.25Mid 1800's$ 1250.00

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