PAINTINGS [CLAIMED TO BE PAINTED 2000 YEARS AGO] BY APOSTLE LUKE--- Saint Luke, the author of the third Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles, was a companion and fellow worker of Saint Paul. According to Colossians 4:11-14, he was a Gentile and a physician. St. Luke was arrested and martyred in Rome under Nero. He is the patron saint of physicians and artists. Feast day: October 18 (Coptic Orthodox: November 1). :

[1] -
Our Lady of Expectation (India) – Saint Luke
This image of Mary, the Mother of Jesus Christ, was painted by St. Luke. It was carried by St. Thomas the apostle to India about one thousand, nine hundred and fifty years ago. Today, Mary continues to be venerated through this painting. It is kept at the main altar in the Church of Mount St. Thomas in Madras, India, the place where St. Thomas was martyred 
Kykkos Monastery - Icon of Virgin Mary
Kykkos Monastery - Icon of Virgin Mary
Kykkos Monastery - Icon of Virgin Mary, September 2016, © Gerhard Huber, under
Kykkos Monastery - Icon of Virgin Mary. The reason for Kykkos's importance, however, is not its exclusive structures, but a rain-giving icon of Mary, said to be painted by St. Luke the Evangelist. Often pilgrims queue up endlessly to kiss the wonder-working icon.Jun 8, 2017

Kykkos Monastery - Icon of Virgin Mary | Troodos | Picture › Europe › Cyprus › Pictures › Troodos
Preface by the (late) Archbishop of Cyprus, Makarios III
The Holy, Royal and Stavropygiac Monastery of Kykko is for the people of Cyprus not only an important religious institution and a place of pious Christian worship but also a wider national, spiritual and moral symbol, inextricably woven with a long tradition and history.Hallowed by the sweet figure of the Mother of God, invested with the imperial protection of Byzantium and strengthened with privilege granted by the Byzantine overlords of Cyprus, the Monastery of Kykko has been the holy Ark in which the miraculous icon of the Mother of God, which according to tradition was painted by St. Luke himself, has been preserved. 

                         [3] Saint Luke the Evangelist

Icon of the blessed Virgin Mary by Luke the Evangelist

As an artist

Luke the Evangelist painting the first icon of the Virgin Mary
Christian tradition, starting from the 8th century, states that Luke was the first icon painter. He is said to have painted pictures of the Virgin Mary and Child, in particular the Hodegetria image in Constantinople (now lost). Starting from the 11th century, a number of painted images were venerated as his autograph works, including the Black Madonna of Częstochowa and Our Lady of Vladimir. He was also said to have painted Saints Peter and Paul, and to have illustrated a gospel book with a full cycle of miniatures.[39][40]
Late medieval Guilds of Saint Luke in the cities of Late Medieval Europe, especially Flanders, or the "Accademia di San Luca" (Academy of Saint Luke) in Rome—imitated in many other European cities during the 16th century—gathered together and protected painters. The tradition that Luke painted icons of Mary and Jesus has been common, particularly in Eastern Orthodoxy. The tradition also has support from the Saint Thomas Christians of India who claim to still have one of the Theotokos icons that Saint Luke painted and which St. Thomas brought to India.[41]

File:Icon of the blessed Virgin Mary by Luke the Evangelist.jpg

It is the most revered one in Chilandar, and the most significant icon for the Serbian people. According to legend, it belongs to the icons painted by the Apostle and Evangelist St. Luke, the first Christian painter.
Tradition says the apostle Luke painted this image of Mary, mother of Jesus, from memory. Inside the Church of 100 Gates, Paros.[this church initially built in the 4th century AD.:]In the Justinian period (6th century) the palaeochristian parts were altered and the basilica was rebuilt,

The main attraction of the church is the icon of Holy Mary holding Christ

After all of the additions and alterations. the Ekantontapiliani became complex as it had palaeochristian, Byzantine, and post-Byzantine cycladic architectural characteristics. The first Christians chose the area of the ancient temple to build the first building, even before Konstantinos and Justinian used some of its marble parts for their own building. As a result, the church bears evidence of all the eras of the Greek civilization, from ancient times to today.. They were used as a bunker and the Vaptistirion, the place where the marble cross-shaped typescript is situated. Christians of old age were christened there until the 4th century. Later on, the christening of infants became a custom
Parikia is the capital and the main port of Paros island. It is one of the most typical Cycladic settlements as it is distinguished by its narrow cobbled paths, the old ...

The Church of 100 doors, Paros, Greece

Christianity and Greek mythology meet at this fourth century church moments from the busy port – and in the island’s annual festivities
The church of Panagia Ekatontapiliani (Church of 100 Doors) in Paros, Greece The church of Panagia Ekatontapiliani (Church of 100 Doors) in Paros, Greece Photograph:

ere’s a silver mother and child icon in every house on the Greek island of Paros, so what’s the story? Friend and local Paraskevi tells me: “You’ll find the original in Ekatontapiliani, the Church of 100 Doors.”
Two minutes from the sea, hidden from the bustle of Parikia’s port, the fourth-century church is all arches, dome and windows (although there aren’t 100 doors). I light a candle and walk to the glittering Madonna, a Byzantine icon covered with silver in 1788. I queue, kiss the child, then sit.The silver Madonna

The silver Madonna.
There are pots of basil outside, lovingly tended in memory of ninth-century nun Osia Theokisti, who lived alone on the island for 35 years after escaping from pirates, surviving on wild basil and holy water. On either side of the shrine, deep in the foundations and visible through a glass floor, are marble pillars from a Grecian temple to Aphrodite, which stood here before. Every August, villagers carry icons of Mary down to the sea, with fireworks and partying. Surely such festivities date back to the rites of ocean-born Aphrodite, when clay effigies were thrown into the ocean?
Image result for Madonna, a Byzantine icon covered with silver in 1788.

Greek Icon Madonna & Child. 950 Silver Riza , Byzantine Hagiography

Silver Tradition Art.].Precious holy Image Madonna & Child made of pure silver 950/1000 degrees proof,which depicts traditional hapiography. Exact ..

File:Icon MK.JPG 
Verkhny Garad Cathedral;Minsk, Belarus

Holy Spirit Cathedral (Minsk)

The Cathedral
The Holy Spirit Cathedral (Belarusian: Кафедральны сабор Сашэсця Святога Духа) in Minsk, Belarus is dedicated to the Holy Spirit. It is the central cathedral of the Belarusian Orthodox Church.
The Theotokos icon in the Cathedral has been reported as miraculous
The cathedral dates back to 1633–1642, when the Bernardine monastery was built, at a time when the city was in centre of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. The building was damaged by fire in 1741 and required the reconstruction of the entireConstruction of the original church began in 1628 ;The cathedrals most sacred relic is the Icon of the Blessed Virgin of Minsk supposedly painted by the Apostle Luke and blessed by the virgin herself with the words "Devine mercy may fall on these images". It was a given to the city of Kiev in 998 by Prince Vladimir following his conversion. It was later stolen by raiding Tatars, stripped of its ornamentation and tossed into the River Dnieper. It reemerged from the Svisloch River in Minsk on the city’s patron saint’s day August 26th 1500

The Iveron Icon, which at present is preserved in a monastery on Athos, by tradition was painted by the Apostle and Evangelist Luke. The Icon gets its name from the Georgian monastery on the Holy Mountain where it is kept                  

MONASTERY OF MOUNT ATHOS ,GREECE:-Historical documents on ancient Mount Athos history are very few. It is certain that monks have been there since the 4th century, and possibly since the 3rd. During Constantine I's reign (324–337) both Christians and pagans were living there. During the reign of Julian the Apostate (361–363), the churches of Mount Athos were destroyed, and Christians hid in the woods and inaccessible places. Later, during Theodosius I's reign (383–395), the pagan temples were destroyed. The lexicographer Hesychius of Alexandria states that in the 5th century there was still a temple and a statue of "Zeus Athonite". After the Islamic conquest of Egypt in the 7th century, many orthodox monks from the Egyptian desert tried to find another calm place; some of them came to the Athos peninsula. An ancient document states that monks

==========================================================================The                                               [8 ]
Black Madonna of Częstochowa
 Poland [History:-
The icon of Our Lady of Częstochowa has been intimately associated with Poland for the past six hundred years. Its history prior to its arrival in Poland is shrouded in numerous legends which trace the icon's origin to St. Luke who painted it on a cypress table top from the house of the Holy Family.Ukrainian sources state that it was taken by Władysław Opolski from the Castle of Belz, when the town was incorporated into the Polish kingdom and that earlier in its history it was brought to Belz with much ceremony and honors by Knyaz Lev I of Galicia [7]    The Jasna Góra Monastery,polandThe Vladimir Madonna" - is one of the most venerated Orthodox icons and a typical example of Byzantine iconography.The icon is displayed in the Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow.About 1131 the Greek Patriarch Luke Chrysoberges of Constantinople sent the icon as a gift to Grand Duke Yury Dolgoruky of Kiev. The image was kept in the Mezhyhirskyi Monastery until Dolgoruky's son Andrey Bogolyubskiy brought it to his favourite city, Vladimir, in 1155.In 1395, during Tamerlane's invasion, the image was taken from Vladimir to the new capital of Moscow. The spot where people and the ruling prince met the icon is commemorated by the Sretensky Monastery. Vasili I of Moscow spent a night crying over the icon, and Tamerlane's armies retreated the same day.In December 1941, as the Germans approached Moscow, Stalin allegedly ordered that the icon be placed in an airplane and flown around the besieged capital. Several days later, the German army started to retreat

Our Lady of Czestochowa, Poland, said to have been painted by St. Luke the Evangelist

                [10]         St. Luke’s Icon has resided in St. Mary Major Basilica, Rome, for about 1,700 years.

                     St. Luke painted this Icon of Mary (about the year 60 AD) while she was staying with St. John the Apostle. According to tradition, when St. Luke “wrote” the Icon, he accurately rendered the Blessed Virgin’s authentic facial features.
The Icon was written directly onto a three foot by five foot cedar plank, believed to be part of a table that Jesus had originally hand crafted during his time in Nazareth. When Mary went to stay with St. John, in Ephesus (a town located in southwestern Turkey) the table evidently made the trip, as well.
Lost for over 200 years, the Icon was discovered by St. Helena (mother of Emperor Constantine) in Jerusalem, buried near the True Cross, on or about the year 326 AD.
The title of the Icon is Salus Populi Romani (“Protectoress of the Roman People”). It is the only major Icon attributed to Saint Luke (who is also the writer of  the Gospel bearing his name, “the Acts of the Apostles” and most of St. Paul’s epistles.)
St. Luke is also believed to have been a physician (medical doctor).
Tradition and history informs us that St. Luke’s Icon has resided in St. Mary Major Basilica, Rome, for about 1,700 years.

                               St. Luke (San Luca) is the patron saint of artists because supposedly he was a painter himself. Legend has it that he painted a portrait of Mary from life, with her actually sitting there, making it the equivalent of a photograph, I guess. Some versions of the legend say that he did the painting on a wooden table top that Joseph and Jesus had made. The story goes that Mary infused the painting with her blessings and grace, turning it into a miracle-working icon that would carry her power across the centuries.
Now I’m not sure if Luke did one painting of her or many, but there are churches all over the globe that claim to have a St. Luke painting of the Madonna, and these images have been revered for hundreds of years with lots of stories about miracles, healings, and deliverance from wars and disease. In the Middle Ages, people made pilgrimages to visit these paintings which were just as venerated as the relics of any saint.
Well, Venice has not one but three icons that were supposedly painted by St. Luke. One is the Madonna Nikopeia in the Basilica di San Marco (that’s her in the photo above), the second is the Madonna de Pace icon in San Zanipolo, and the third is the Virgin Mesopanditissa icon on the high altar of Santa Maria della Salute.


Saint Luke the Evangelist
St Luke displaying a painting of Mary by Guercino [Apostle, Evangelist, Martyr Born Antioch, Syria, Roman Empire Died c. 84]

Luke the Evangelist painting the first icon of the Virgin Mary.[Author Anonimous ]

St. Giustina in Padua: tomb of St. Luke...

This is the Basilica di S. Giustina in Padova.

 It's located on the side of a gorgeous park called the Prato della Valle in the city center.

 The tomb of St. Luke is located in this church, as seen in the photo.

This painting and the Enthroned Madonna and Child are the oldest paintings on the National Gallery of Art’s walls. They may have been created by the same anonymous artist in Constantinople (now Istanbul, Turkey), then the capital of the Byzantine Empire. Panels such as these were highly influential in the development of Italian painting. They stand at the very beginning of the history of panel painting in Italy. Painting on wooden panel had not been common in medieval Europe as church decorations were mostly on the walls themselves, in fresco or mosaic. Painting on canvas came even later.
Around the 13th century, however, a confluence of events profoundly affected painting in Italy. Focus shifted to a new kind of freestanding imagery: the painted altarpiece. Italy experienced an influx of painted wood panels—and panel painters—from the Byzantine Empire. Following the Fourth Crusade in 1204, many icons (paintings of a sacred personage used as an object of veneration) were brought to Italy from Byzantine sanctuaries in Greece. Byzantine icon painters also left Greece to work in Italy, bringing their techniques and styles with them.
We can see the abstracted style of Byzantine icons here. The gold striations that define folds in clothing, the round volume of Mary’s veiled head, and the frontal pose of Jesus—who looks more like a miniature adult than a child—are all part of the Byzantine tradition. Because their subject is not the temporary appearance of the physical world but a holy and infinite presence, icons avoid direct references to earthly reality and to specific times or places. Instead, their backgrounds are dematerialized with shimmering gold, and figures appear timeless and unchanging.

Greek Icon of the Virgin Mary with Christ in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. This church is identified as the place both of the crucifixion and the tomb of Jesus of Nazareth; originally built by the mother of Emperor Constantine in 330 A.D. The original Byzantine church was destroyed by the Persians in A.D. 614.

- Image ID: EC84ND
Greek Icon of the Virgin Mary with Christ in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. This church is identified as the place both of the crucifixion and the tomb of Jesus of Nazareth; originally built by the mother of Emperor Constantine in 330 A.D. The original Byzantine church was destroyed by the Persians in A.D. 614.
Contributor: World History Archive / Alamy Stock Photo
Image ID: EC84ND
File size: 
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Dimensions: 3372 x 4962 px | 28.5 x 42 cm | 11.2 x 16.5 inches | 300dpi
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This image could have imperfections as it’s either historical or reportage.
Greek Icon of the Virgin Mary with Christ in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. This church is identified as the place both of the crucifixion and the tomb of Jesus of Nazareth; originally built by the mother of Emperor Constantine in 330 A.D. The original Byzantine church was destroyed by the Persians in A.D. 614.
Photographer: World History Archive
Date taken: 19 October 1904

The Holy Monastery of the Virgin of Kykkos was founded around the end of the 11th century by the Byzantine emperor Alexios I Komnenos (1081 - 1118).
Pict. 1 The Holy Royal and Stavropegiac Monastery of the Virgin of Kykkos.

According to tradition a virtuous hermit, called Esaias, was living in a cave on the mountain of Kykkos. One day, the Byzantine governor of the island Doux Manuel Voutoumites, who was spending the summer at a village of Marathasa because of the heat of the season, went into the forest to hunt. Having lost his way in the forest he met monk Esaias and asked him to show him the way. The hermit who was not interested in the things of this world would not answer his questions.
Voutoumites got angry at the monk's indifference and called him names and even maltreated him. Not long after, when the Doux returned to Nicosia, he fell ill with an incurable illness by the name of lethargia. In his terrible condition he remembered how inhumanly he had treated the hermit Esaias and asked God to cure him so that he might go to ask the hermit personally for forgiveness. And this came to pass. But God had appeared in front of the hermit and revealed to him that the very thing that had happened had been planned by the divine will and advised him to ask Voutoumites to bring the icon of the Virgin, that had been painted by the Apostle Luke, to Cyprus.
Pict. 2 A map of Cyprus
The icon was kept in the imperial palace at Constantinople. When Boutoumites heard the hermit's wish he was taken aback because he considered such a thing impossible. Then Esaias explained to him that it was a matter of divine wish and they agreed to travel together to Constantinople for the realization of their aim.

Time was passing and Voutoumites could not find the right opportunity to present himself in front of the emperor and ask for the icon. For this reason he provided Esaias with other icons and other necessary things and sent him back to Cyprus, at the same time placating him that he would soon see the emperor. By divine dispensation the daughter of the emperor had fallen ill with the same illness that had struck Voutoumites. The latter grasped the opportunity and went to see the emperor Alexios. He recounted to him his personal experience with the monk Esaias and assured him that his daughter would be cured if he sent to Cyprus the holy icon of the Virgin. In his desperation the emperor, seeing that he had no other option, agreed. His daughter became well instantly. The emperor, however, not wanting to be parted from the icon of the Virgin, called a first-class painter and ordered him to paint an exact copy of the icon with the aim of sending this one to Cyprus.

In the evening the Mother of God herself appears in a dream of the emperor's and tells him that her wish is for her icon to be sent to Cyprus and for the copy to be kept by the emperor. On the following day the royal boat with the icon of the Virgin departed for Cyprus where Esaias was awaiting for it. During the procession of the icon from the coast to the Troodos mountains, according to legend, the trees, participating in the welcoming ceremonies, were piously bending their trunks and branches. With patronage provided by the emperor Alexios Komnenos a church and monastery were built at Kykkos, where the icon of the Virgin was deposited.

According to another tradition, still preserved by the people, a bird with human voice was flying around the area singing:

Kykkou, Kykkou, Kykkos' hill
A monastery the site shall fill
A golden girl shall enter in
And never shall come out again.

The "golden girl'' is, without a doubt, the icon of the Virgin while the monastery is the Holy Royal and Stavropegiac Monastery of Kykkos which has been sheltering the icon for over nine hundred years.


7 Oldest Paintings of Jesus in the World

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Images of Jesus are common throughout Christian churches and several of these paintings are over 1,000 years old. In the early days of Christianity, Jesus was often represented by symbols such as Ichthys (fish), the peacock, or an anchor. The oldest extant paintings of Jesus as a person date back to around the late 2nd to 4th century and are primarily found in Roman catacombs. These early paintings were simple and often showed Jesus performing good deeds.

7. Good Shepherd Mosaic

 Year Painted: c.425
 Location:  Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, Ravenna, Italy
 Image Depicted:  Christ as the Good Shepherd among a flock of sheep
 Materials Used:  Mosaic – pieces of stone or glass
Good Shepherd Mosaicphoto source: Wikimedia Commons  
The Good Shepherd mosaic in the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia is not only one of the oldest depictions of Jesus, but one of the most beautiful and well-preserved. The Mausoleum is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and features other mosaic works of art. The Good Shepherd is found over the north entrance and shows Jesus in a more regal form than other early good shepherd paintings.
Instead of carrying a lamb on his shoulder, Jesus is sitting among his flock and is wearing gold and purple robes. The mosaic is an excellent example of the transition from showing Jesus as a simple man to depicting Him as a King of Heaven.

6. Jesus and His Apostles

 Year Painted: c. early 5th century
 Location:  Catacombs of St. Domitilla, Rome, Italy
 Image Depicted:  Christ on a throne among two groups of apostles before two deceased individuals
 Materials Used:  Paint on plaster
Jesus and His Apostles photo source: Live Science
The frescoes found in the catacombs of St. Domitilla were recently uncovered with a new technique called laser cleaning, which uses lasers to remove centuries of dirt and grime. One of the frescoes found in the catacombs show Christ on a throne between two groups of apostles admitting two deceased individuals into the Kingdom of Heaven. According to Barbara Mazzei, an archaeologist with the Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archaeology, the image depicted in the fresco was rare for the time period.
Some of the other frescoes show scenes from the Old and New Testament. The religious frescoes of the catacombs were found in an “introductio,” which shows a “a personal presentation of the dead to Christ.” The newly revealed frescoes were unveiled to the public at the end of May 2017.

5. The Mosaic of St. Pudenziana

 Year Painted: c.410 – 417
 Location:  Santa Pudenziana, Rome, Italy
 Image Depicted:  Christ sitting on a jewel encrusted throne surrounded by His apostles
 Materials Used:  Paint on plaster; gold leaf
The Mosaic of St. Pudenzianaphoto source: Wikipedia
The mosaic of St. Pudenziana is thought to be the oldest apse mosaic of its kind. Additionally, the church of St. Pudenziana is considered the most ancient of all the churches in Rome. The mosaic was created sometime between 410 and 417, during the pontification of Pope Innocent I. In the painting, Christ is shown as a human figure wearing a golden toga with purple trim, sitting on a jewel encrusted throne, which are all signs of Roman imperial authority.
This regal depiction of Jesus permeated other Byzantine era mosaics. The mosaic was heavily restored in the 16th century and parts of it were changed or removed. During the restoration, two of the apostles were removed as well as the whole lower part of the mosaic.

4. Christ Between Peter and Paul

 Year Painted: c.4th century
 Location:  Catacombs of Marcellinus and Peter, Rome, Italy
 Image Depicted:  Christ sitting with Paul on his right and Peter on his left
 Materials Used:  Paint on plaster
Christ Between Peter and Paulphoto source: Wikimedia Commons
This painting depicting Christ between Peter and Paul dates back to 4th century and is found in the Catacombs of Marcellinus and Peter. There are also several other old paintings of Christ in the catacombs. The image in the painting show Jesus sitting with his disciples Peter and Paul on either side of Him. Below them are the four martyrs – Gorgonius, Peter, Marcellinus, and Tiburtius – separated into pairs with the Divine Lamb on the mountain between them.
This painting was one of the first to show Jesus as older and bearded, which was how He was often depicted in Christian art of the late 4th century. In 2016, the restoration of several of the frescoes in the Catacombs of Marcellinus and Peter was finished.

3. Adoration of the Magi

 Year Painted:: c. mid-3rd century
 Location:  Catacomb of Priscilla, Rome, Italy
 Image Depicted:  The three Magi bringing their gifts to Jesus after his birth
 Materials Used:  Paint on plaster
The fresco from the Catacomb of Priscilla in Rome is believed to be the oldest depiction of the three Magi. It dates back to around the mid-third century and appears on an arch in the catacombs. The image is simply drawn and shows three identically sized men, in similar outfits, each carrying a gift to present to the child sitting in his mother’s lap.
The “Adoration of the Magi” was one of the most commonly depicted images from Jesus’ birth in early Christian art. These early images were typically found on catacomb walls and sarcophagus reliefs.

2. The Good Shepherd

 Year Painted: c. mid-3rd century
 Location:  Catacombs of St. Callixtus, Rome, Italy
 Image Depicted:  Young, beardless Jesus carrying a lamb
 Materials Used:  Paint on plaster
The Good Shepherdphoto source: Wikipedia
“The Good Shepherd” is believed to be one of the oldest existing paintings of Jesus. The painting shows a young beardless Jesus collecting sheep, which was one of the most common images of Jesus at the time. This particular painting is one of the best preserved and was found in the Catacombs of San Callisto.
These catacombs are some of the oldest in Rome and is best known for its art as well as the Cypt of the Popes. Other 3rd century paintings found in the catacombs depict scenes from Christ’s life such as the Baptism of Christ and the Raising of Lazarus.

1. The Healing of the Paralytic

 Year Painted: c.235
 Location:  Dura-Europos, Syria
 Image Depicted:  Christ healing a paralytic, who then gets up and walks away
 Materials Used:  Paint on plaster
The Healing of the Paralyticphoto source: Wikipedia
“The Healing of the Paralytic” is believed to be the oldest painting of Jesus in the world that still exists and is a clear depiction of Christ. The painting is found on a wall in the Dura-Europos church in Syria, which is believed to be one of the oldest surviving Christian churches in the world. This painting was discovered sometime in 1921 and dates back to around 235 AD.
The image shows Jesus Christ healing a bed-ridden man, who then has the strength to carry his bed on his back and walk. Today, the painting is kept at the Yale University Gallery of Fine Arts as part of the Dura Europos collection with other frescoes that were found at the church.

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Saint Luke Drawing the Virgin
Saint Luke Drawing the Virgin MFA Boston.jpg
ArtistRogier van der Weyden
Yearc. 1435–1440
Dimensions137.5 cm × 110.8 cm (​54 18 in × ​43 58 in)[1]
LocationMuseum of Fine Arts, Boston

Rogier van der Weyden. "Saint Luke Drawing the Virgin"

On the Occasion of the Completion of the Restoration

On 17 May 2016, on the eve of International Museum Day, an exhibition in the “Masterpieces Reborn” cycle will open in the Apollo Hall of the Winter Palace: Rogier van der Weyden. Saint Luke Drawing the Virgin. On the Occasion of the Completion of the Restoration.
Rogier van der Weyden (circa 1400–1464) was one of the outstanding artists of the 15th-century Golden Age of Netherlandish painting, a pupil of the celebrated master of the Northern Renaissance Robert Campin, and worked in Brussels. He introduced the theme of revealing human emotional experiences into painting in the Low Countries and had a considerable influence on his contemporaries and successors.

At the present time, four versions of the painting Saint Luke Drawing the Virgin are known around the world. One is in the State Hermitage, the other three are in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, USA, the Alte Pinakothek in Munich, Germany, and the Groeningemuseum in Bruges, Belgium. Our painting entered the Hermitage in an unusual manner. It had at some time been divided into two parts. The right half, depicting Saint Luke, was acquired in 1850 from the collection of King William II of the Netherlands, who had married a daughter of Tsar Paul I – Anna Pavlovna. The left half, with the depiction of the Virgin and Child, was bought in 1884 from the Parisian antiquarian Antoine Baer. It came from the collection of Queen Isabel II of Spain, who lived in exile in France.

During the time it has been in the Hermitage, the painting has undergone several restorations. In 1854 Feodor Tabuntsov cradled the part depicting Saint Luke (adding wooden reinforcements on the back of the panel to prevent deformation). Then, in 1867, that same half was transferred from panel to canvas by Alexander Sidorov. In 1884, after the acquisition of the other half of the painting, the same restorer transferred that from panel to canvas and joined it back together with the first part.

After the reuniting of the two halves of the painting, Saint Luke Drawing the Virgin almost regained its original appearance. Almost – because it lacked the upper part of the composition and had two restoration extensions – at the top of the half with Saint Luke and at the bottom of the half with the Virgin. It is possible to picture the lost upper part of the painting by comparing it with the three other known versions.

Rogier van der Weyden’s composition derives from a lost work by Robert Campin, also entitled Saint Luke Drawing the Virgin. At the same time there is an obvious echo of a painting by Rogier’s older contemporary Jan van Eyck – The Madonna of Chancellor Rolin (1435), now in the Louvre.

The Hermitage painting is a typical work of Netherlandish painting. Depicted in the foreground are the Virgin and Child together with Luke drawing her countenance, while in the depths we see a landscape full of life.

The subject of Luke the Evangelist drawing the Mother of God has its origins in 8th-century Byzantine art. Around the 12th century, it found its way into Western European painting. According to legend, Luke tried for a long time to produce a picture of the Virgin, but constantly failed to recall her features. Then Mary came to him in a vision and the Evangelist was able to capture her appearance. In Europe, Luke was considered the patron saint of artists and depictions of him adorned the premises of the painters’ guild in various cities. In Netherlandish art, those who turned their hand to painting Saint Luke depicting the Virgin included such outstanding artists as Robert Campin, Rogier van der Weyden, Hugo van der Goes and many others. The painters often identified themselves with Saint Luke and that is why many detect in Rogier van der Weyden’s depiction of the Gospel-writer a possible portrait resemblance to the painter himself.

Saint Luke is shown in a moment of creativity. In contrast to Italian Renaissance artists, who devoted particular attention to the human being and usually placed him or her at the centre of the composition, Netherlandish artists were interested both in the person and the setting. Having placed the Virgin and Child on the left and Luke on the right, Rogier van der Weyden filled the whole of the centre of the painting with a landscape, revealing to the viewer’s gaze a prospect of a river running away into the distance with urban structures on its banks.

Saint Luke is holding a silver-tipped metal stylus, a typical drawing implement for an artist at that time. He is holding it almost at right-angles to the sheet of paper, keeping his hand well away so as not to rub off what he has already drawn. This is a splendid demonstration of a drawing technique which, we must assume, Rogier van der Weyden had mastered to perfection.

Luke is depicted in a pinky red cape with fur cuffs and collar. An inkpot hangs from his belt. It has been suggested that this is the attire worn by physicians in the 14th century. It would, however, be more correct to see it as a mantle and cap connected with Catholic tradition, the dress of an abbot perhaps, or even a cardinal.

An open book lies behind the saint. This is the Gospel that Luke was writing only a short time before. Now, after the removal of overpainting, an open inkwell has become visible alongside the book.

Lower down there is a depiction of the head of a bull – a traditional symbol of Saint Luke. Shown on the arm of the Virgin’s throne is a scene of the serpent tempting Adam and Eve by offering them the apple. Mary’s throne is adorned by an expensive fabric that should go up to form a canopy hanging over her in the lost top part of the painting.

Mary, dressed in richly embellished clothing, has sat down on the step of her throne, opposite Saint Luke, and is feeding the Christ-Child. Rogier van der Weyden has managed to give the Virgin’s face an appearance that is very natural and at the same time ideal. She gazes with maternal love on her child as she carefully supports him. After the restoration, a drop of milk can be seen emerging from her breast. Previously it was hidden by dark decomposed varnish. This nuance permits another interpretation of the subject of the painting – as the Virgin Galaktotrophousa, the Milk-Giver. A century later, in the mid-1500s, such depictions were banned and they gradually disappeared from the Western European tradition.

If we add the missing top part of the painting, then exactly in the centre, at the point where the two diagonals cross, in the middle ground of the composition there are two figures standing by a stone parapet. They are considered to be Saints Joachim and Anne, the parents of the Virgin Mary. The restoration has enabled us to see once more Joachim’s left hand, which was believed lost beneath overpainting. He is using it to point to something taking place in the distance. A woman carrying buckets of water is climbing the steps onto a square. A townsman is standing by the entrance to a shop. It has been suggested that this shop is selling artistic objects. Above it, by the second-storey windows, washing is drying in the breeze. In the distance on the right bank horsemen are galloping along. The lightness with which these little figures are depicted and the absence of any mechanicalness in their movements shows the hand of a great artist.

In early 2013, after the painting had been examined under infrared and ultraviolet light and X rayed, and the composition of the materials in the paintwork, both original and added later, work began on the restoration of the picture. These researches entailed the use of scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy(SEM/EDX), gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and polarized light microscopy (PLM).

The restoration took until late 2015 to complete. The work was freed of multiple layers of heavily darkened varnish. Old restoration paintwork and putty overlapping the original artist’s painting were removed. Areas where the original painting has been lost were tinted. A new reconstruction in keeping with the original composition was carried out on the extensions added during19th-century restoration.

The restoration of the painting was carried out by Valery Yuryevich Brovkin, an artist-restorer in the Laboratory for the Scientific Restoration of Easel Paintings (headed by Victor Anatolyevich Korobov), part of the State Hermitage’s Department of Scientific Restoration and Conservation (headed by Tatyana Alexandrovna Baranova).

The curator of the exhibition in Nikolai Leonidovich Zykov, keeper of 15th- and 16th-century Netherlandish painting in the Department of Western European Fine Art (headed by Sergei Olegovich Androsov).


Detail of Saint Luke; probable van der Weyden self-portrait
Copy after Rogier van der Weyden, Saint Luke drawing the Virgin (detail), c. 1491–1510. Groeningemuseum, Bruges
There are no surviving contemporary archival documents for Rogier van der Weyden's Saint Luke Drawing the Virgin, but art historians agree that it was almost certainly painted for the Brussels painters' guild, for their chapel at the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula,[2] where van der Weyden is buried.[1] It may have been commissioned to celebrate the artist's appointment as city painter for Brussels.[2] Luke the Evangelist was thought to have been a portraitist, and Northern European painters' guilds were considered to be under his protection.[3]
In the 15th-century images of Luke painting the Virgin were more commonly found in Northern rather than Italian art.[4] Luke was credited with painting the original of the immensely popular Italo-Byzantine Cambrai Madonna, to which numerous miracles were attributed.[5] The original of that work was taken to France from Rome in 1440, and within four years at least 15 high quality copies had been made.[6] It was regarded as an example of St Luke's skill, and contemporary painters strove to emulate him in their depictions of Mary. Popular belief held that the essence of the Virgin was captured in Luke's portrait of her.[7]

After van Eyck

Van der Weyden closely follows van Eyck's c. 1435 Madonna of Chancellor Rolin, though there are significant differences. The landscape in the van der Weyden is less detailed, and its top gives less of an illusion of openness than van Eyck's.[8] The most obvious similarity is the two figures standing at a bridge, who may not carry specific identities;[9] those in the van der Weyden are sometimes identified as Joachim and Anne, the Virgin's parents.[10] In van Eyck's painting the right hand figure wears a red turban, a motif widely accepted as that artist's indicator of a self-portrait; similar images can be found on the London Portrait of a Man and the reflection in the knight's shield in the Virgin and Child with Canon van der Paele, Bruges.[11]
Jan van Eyck, Madonna of Chancellor Rolin, c. 1435. Louvre, Paris
Van der Weyden reverses the positioning of the main figures; the Virgin appears to the left,[8] a positioning that became predominant in later Netherlandish diptychs. The colours in this work are warmer than those in the van Eyck. Van der Weyden switches the colours of their costumes; Luke is dressed in red or scarlet, Mary in the more typical warm blues. The Virgin type has further been changed, here she is depicted as a Maria Lactans ("Nursing Madonna"). This is one of the standard depictions of her, different from the Hodegetria (Our Lady of the Way, or She who points the way) Virgin type most usually associated with Byzantine and Northern 15th-century depictions of St Luke. This depiction of Mary's motherhood stresses the "redemption of mankind by Christ as human ... [and] spiritual nourishing".[12]


The panel contains four individual pieces of oak, painted over a chalk ground bound with glue.[13] The preparation wood is dated to around 1410, giving an estimated date for the Van der Weyden in the mid-1430s.[2] The dominant pigments are lead white (often used in the panel to highlight blue and green passages), charcoal black, ultramarine, lead-tin-yellow, verdigris and red lake.[14] There has been some discolouration – some greens are now brown, including pigments used to depict grass in the background.[15]
The folds in Mary's dress
Mary sits under a brocade canopy or cloth of honour, painted in brown hues which have since discoloured to dark green.[16] The canopy hangs down to a wooden bench attached to the wall behind her.[17] Mary's hair is loose and she wears an embroidered dress lined with fur. Around her neck is a light veil, and she is shown in the act of nursing.[18] Her dress is a centrepiece of the panel, composed of a variety of blues overlaid with lead white and deep blue lapis lazuli highlights. The inner parts of her robe contain violet coloured fabrics, lined with greyish blues and purples.[15]
Luke is positioned on a green cushion, between the heavenly figure and the small study behind him. He is either rising from a kneeling position or about to genuflect. His eyes fix on her attentively,[17] and he seems near hypnotised. Jesus is similarly transfixed.[19] Hall describes Luke's hands as floating before him, holding the tools "with the same delicacy that an angel might hold a lily or sceptre". Mary has turned her face so that he can depict her in near full profile, a rare honour, while Luke's kneeling position is closely analogous to that of a typical donor portrait in the presence of the Virgin.[19]
Luke is beardless and in his early 40s, close to van der Weyden's age in the mid-1430s.[20] His face is not idealised; he is middle-aged with light stubble and greying hair.[18] The room behind him contains his attributes including an ox and an open book representing his Gospel.[21] He is painted with more naturalism than Mary; his eyes in particular are more realistically drawn. Christ's conform to the then idealised form, as simple crescents. Mary's are formed from curved lines typical of late Gothic ideals of feminine beauty.[22] Compared to contemporary paintings of this type, the work is unusually free of inscriptions; they appear only on items in Luke's study, dimly perceived on his right: on a book, on an ink bottle, and on a scroll emanating from the mouth of his ox, beneath the small desk.[23]
The scene is set within a rather narrow interior space,[24] with a barrel vault ceiling, patterned floor tilings, and stained glass windows. The outer wall opens to the midground, with a patch of grass and plants,[8] and has a view of a river or inlet.[25] Art historian Jeffrey Chipps Smith notes how the transition between the grounds establishes a "complex spatial space in which [van der Weyden] achieved an almost seamless movement from the elaborate architecture of the main room to the garden and parapet of the middle ground to the urban and rural landscape behind".[21]
Jan van Eyck, Madonna of Chancellor Rolin (detail)
Two figures in the mid-ground stand at a battlement wall overlooking the water, their backs turned against the viewer, the male pointing outwards.[26] They are framed by columns, and are looking towards the detailed city and landscape in the background.[27] The figures seem preoccupied with "looking", which Carol Purtle believes, to van der Weyden, was a form of devotionalism; through meditating on an image, the "beholder experienced visions of transports of ecstasy".[28] Technical analysis shows that both figures were heavily reworked both in the underdrawing and the final painting;[29] the hood of the figure on the right was originally red, but over-painted as black, amongst many other differences.[30]
Detail of figures in the midground
The positioning of these figures closely resembles that of two persons depicted in the van Eyck panel. In that painting the right-hand figure turns to face his companion, gesturing at him to look outwards. In the van der Weyden, the equivalent figure seems protective of his friend, who here is female, while the left-hand figure in the earlier panel might represent a tribute to the artist's brother Hubert who had died in the 1420s.[31] A red headdress was an indicator of self-portraiture for van Eyck.[11] As in the van Eyck, the figures act as examples of repoussoir,[32] in that they draw our attention to the picture's underlying theme – the painting's ability to visualize the infinity of the world in the landscape. The painting may allude to the concept of paragone; the man points to the landscape, perhaps highlighting the ability of painting, unlike sculpture, to supply its foreground with background.[33]
Examination of the underdrawing shows that the artist intended a van Eyckian angel crowning the Virgin, but this was omitted from the final painting.[34] He heavily reworked the positions of the three main figures even towards the end of completion.[35] The draperies of the mantles were at first larger.[36] Christ's body at first faced Luke, but was later tilted in the direction of his mother. The mother and child were brought closer together. Luke's head was at first level with the Virgin's, but in the final painting is raised slightly above.[37] The differences extend beyond those in the foreground. The fortifications of the inner courtyard have been enlarged, while the two figures looking out over the river were smaller, the river itself narrower.[36]


Luke's face is widely considered to be a van der Weyden self-portrait. He may have wanted to associate himself both with a saint and with the founder of painting. This is reinforced by the fact that Luke is shown drawing in silverpoint on white paper; an extremely difficult medium that demands high concentration, and is normally used only for preparation.[38] The artist is boldly emphasising his ability and skill with preparatory sketches; a single surviving silverpoint drawing attributed to van der Weyden, now in the Louvre, contains a female head very similar to Mary's in the Boston panel.[39]
After van der Weyden, The Justice of Trajan and Herkinbald, detail from a lost painting, tapestry copy. This head is considered another probable self-portrait.[40]
Van der Weyden appears intelligent and handsome, but weather-worn.[41] He inserted a self-portrait into one other work; the lost Justice of Trajan and Herkinbald, known through a tapestry copy in the Historical Museum of Bern.[42] Later northern artists followed his lead, using self-portraits in their own depictions of Luke.[43]
What biographical details are available place the artist as a devout Catholic, deeply influenced by mystical and devotional texts, familiar with 12th and 13th century female theologians such as Mechthild of Magdeburg and Hildegard of Bingen.[44] They believed that contemplating devotional images whilst meditating might lead to a vision or a state of ecstasy. It is possible from these teachings that van der Weyden developed a set of devotional motifs such as The Magdalen Reading. The importance of St Luke in Christian art is underscored in St Luke Painting the Virgin, while affirming "the role of art within the context of meditation and contemplation".[45]
The self-portraiture achieves a number of purposes. It acts as a tribute to his own ability, as a measure of his skill against van Eyck, and as a case for the legitimacy of the craft of painting.[6] By portraying himself as St Luke in the act of drawing rather than painting, De Vries believes van der Weyden reveals an "artistic consciousness by commenting upon artistic traditions and by doing so presents a visual argument for the role and function of the artist and his art, one at that time still predominantly religiously defined".[12]
Smith describes the panel as an "exposition of the art of painting", observing that van der Weyden records the essential skills any successful artist should master while claiming to be an heir to St Luke.[21] He works in silverpoint – and thus is unencumbered with the paraphernalia of painting; an easel, seat or other items which might clutter the composition, or more importantly place a physical barrier between the divine and earthly realms.[46]


Van der Weyden's small Virgin and Child Enthroned, c. 1430–1432. Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza
The painting is rich in both actual and implied iconography. Van der Weyden presents Mary as the Maria Lactans virgin type, a symbol of "Mother Church" especially popular at times of plague or famine, the implication being that she cares for all and no one will go hungry. This notion ties in with Luke's dual roles of physician (and thus healer) and artist.[47] Van der Weyden had earlier portrayed Mary breast-feeding in his Virgin and Child Enthroned, which depicts equally detailed carvings carrying significance, but is reduced in size and in its cast of characters, and omits the act of beholding.[48]
The architecture of the enclosed space suggests a church. The Virgin sits beneath a canopy, perhaps symbolic of the sacred space, and the spatial separation between the celebrant and the congregation, usually by a Rood screen. The small room to the right could symbolize the vesting chamber.[48] The arms of her throne are painted as carved with figures including Adam, Eve and the serpent before the fall from Paradise.[27] The room faces towards an enclosed garden, another emblem of the Virgin's chastity.[8] Though Mary is positioned by a throne and under a canopy, indicating her role as Queen of Heaven, she sits on the step, an indication of her humility.[22][49]
Carvings on the Virgin's throne
The Virgin occupies an earthly space as opposed to a sacred one, but remains aloof. This approach is emphasised by secondary midground figures who are out in the open air, while the main figures are positioned in an elevated room containing a throne, grand arches and wood carvings. Van der Weyden's setting is less artificial than van Eyck's; here Luke and Mary face each other as equals, rather than in van Eyck's painting where, as Blum describes "a divinity and a mortal" face one another. Van der Weyden omits the winged angel holding a crown hovering above the Virgin; the figure was included in the underdrawings, but eventually abandoned. The landscape is more secular than van Eyck's, which is dominated by church spires.[50]
In the late-13th century, many of the newly emerging painter's guilds were nominating Luke as their patron saint.[17] The van der Weyden panel is among the first known depictions of St Luke painting the Virgin in Northern Renaissance art,[51] along with a similar work, a lost triptych panel by Robert Campin.[22] Van der Weyden presents a humanised Virgin and Child, as suggested by the realistic contemporary surroundings,[50] the lack of halos, and the intimate spatial construction. Yet he infuses the panel with extensive religious iconography.[22]

Attribution and dating

During the 19th century the painting was at times associated with Quentin Massys and Hugo van der Goes. In the early 1930s, based on x-radiographs, art historian Alan Burroughs attributed the Boston painting to Dieric Bouts "under the supervision" of van der Weyden.[52] He later revised his opinion to van der Weyden, but art historians remained unsure as to which of the four panel versions was the original or prime version and which were copies.[10] Infrared reflectography has revealed underdrawing in the Boston version which contains heavy redrafting and re-working. This is absent in the other versions, strong evidence the Boston panel is prime.[53] The approach to the underdrawing is very similar to the paintings where attribution to van der Weyden is established, such as the Descent from the Cross in Madrid, and the Miraflores Altarpiece in Berlin. They are built up with brush and ink, with the most attention given to the outlines of the figures and draperies. Hatching is used to indicate areas of deep shadow. In each, the underdrawing is a working sketch, subject to constant revisions, which continued even after painting had begun.[54] The drawing of Mary is similar to the Louvre's silverpoint drawing of 1464 attributed to his circle. Both are of a type van der Weyden was preoccupied with, showing "an ongoing refinement and emphasis on [Mary's] youthfulness ... [which is] traceable throughout his work".[39]
Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, c. 1440 (cropped)
Alte Pinakothek, Munich. c. 1450
Art historians gradually revised their dating from 1450 to the currently accepted 1435–40, earlier in the artist's career.[2] This estimate is based on three factors; the dating of the Rolin Madonna, van der Weyden's opportunity of viewing that panel, and his ability to produce his own work after such a viewing. He is known to have visited Brussels – where van Eyck kept his studio – in 1432 and again 1435. Erwin Panofsky suggested c. 1434 as the earliest possible date, and that the Rolin panel was completed in 1433 or 1434. Julius Held was sceptical of this early dating, noting that if true we are "forced to assume that within one year of Jan's work Rogier received a commission which gave him an opportunity to adopt Jan's compositional pattern while subjecting it at the same time to a very thorough and highly personal transformation, and all this in Bruges, under Jan's very eyes".[55]
Held, as a lone voice and writing in 1955, argues for a date between 1440 and 1443, seeing the work as more advanced than other paintings by the artist from the mid-1430s, and believes it contains "considerable differences" when compared to other early works, especially the Annunciation Triptych of c. 1434. He further observes that although the painting became highly influential, copies did not appear until the mid-century.[56]
Dendrochronological examination of the growth rings in the panel's wood suggests that the timber was felled around 1410.[2] In the 15th century, wood was typically stored for around 20 years before use in panel painting, giving an earliest date in the mid to late 1430s. Analysis of the Munich version places it in the 1480s, around 20 years after van der Weyden's death.[57] The panel in Bruges is in the best condition and of exceptional quality, but dates from c. 1491–1510.[36]

Provenance and conservation

October 1914 photograph of the panel in its old frame. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Despite the eminence of the painting and its many copies, little is known of its provenance before the 19th century. It seems likely that it is the painting Albrecht Dürer mentions in his diary recollection of his visit to the Low Countries in 1520.[58] It is probably the same work recorded in a 1574 inventory of Philip II, kept at the Escorial.[1] The painting is recorded in 1835 in the collection of Don Infante Sebastián Gabriel Borbón y Braganza, a grandnephew of Charles III of Spain and himself an artist. Gabriel's inventory notes described the panel in detail, attributed it to Lucas van Leyden, and suggested an earlier restoration.[10] It was donated to the Museum of Fine Arts in 1893 by Henry Lee Higginson after his purchase at a New York auction in 1889.[1] Photographs from 1914 show it in an ornate, decorative frame which is probably the same as in Gabriel's 1835 description.[59]
The panel is in poor condition, with substantial damage[9] to its frame and surface, despite at least four restorations.[59] The earliest recorded restoration was in 1893, the year it was acquired by the Museum of Fine Arts, but there are no surviving records of the treatment. In the early 1930s, the museum's curator of paintings, Philip Henry, described the painting as an original van der Weyden, but gave the opinion that its poor condition was hindering wider acceptance of the attribution. On this basis, it was sent to Germany in 1932 to undergo conservation. The effort was led by the restorer Helmut Ruhemann, who described the panel as "structurally sound", and removed layers of discoloured varnish and "crude overpainting", while filling in some areas of paint loss.[59] Ruhemann believed he had found evidence of at least two major 19th-century restorations, one of which was probably that carried out in Boston in 1893. Ruhemann's cleaning and restoration was widely praised, and contributed to the acceptance of the panel as the original by van der Weyden.[60]
The MFA undertook a third restoration in 1943, when some yellowing of the glaze was repaired.[61] Most recently, the painting was cleaned in 1980 when small amounts of grime were removed, some losses were filled in, and a light coat of varnish was applied.[61]


Master of the Legend of St. Ursula, Virgin and Child, late 15th century
If the painting was in the Guild of Saint Luke's chapel in Brussels, then many near-contemporary artists would have been able to view it. Van der Weyden's interpretation was hugely influential during the mid-15th and early-16th centuries, both in free and faithful adaptations and copies,[34] examples of which are in Brussels, Kassel, Valladolid and Barcelona.[62] This reflects its quality, and the fact that he presents an ideal image of an artist as a self-portrait, legitimising and elevating the trade.[6] Also influential was his Madonna type, which he used again for the c. 1450 Diptych of Jean de Gros. That painting features a 'Virgin and Child' wing directly modelled on his St Luke panel, extending the devotional aspect to include a donor who appears in the same panel with her. In combining the patron with the Virgin, the "artist has made that personal devotion an integral part of the image".[63]
Hugo van der Goes, Saint Luke Drawing the Virgin, c. 1470–80. National Museum of Ancient Art, Lisbon
Depictions of Luke drawing the Virgin rose in popularity in the mid-to-late 15th century, with van der Weyden's panel the earliest known from the Low Countries[64] – Campin's earlier treatment was by then lost.[65] Most were free copies (adaptations) of van der Weyden's design. The anonymous painter known as the Master of the Legend of St. Ursula incorporated the Maria Lactans type for his Virgin and Child, now in New York. Other artists producing works directly influenced by van der Weyden's portrait include Hugo van der Goes, Dieric Bouts, Derick Baegert and Jan Gossaert. Some artists copied van der Weyden by placing their own likeness in place of St Luke, notably Simon Marmion and Maarten van Heemskerck.[66] By representing themselves as Luke, artists implied a depiction of the Virgin based on first hand contact and thus giving her true likeness.[67]
Van der Goes's is the earliest extant autographed version, and one of the most important. This panel was originally a diptych wing of which the accompanying panel of the Virgin and Child is lost, and was probably made for a guild. Luke is dressed in a heavy red robe, draws a preparatory sketch in silverpoint, and wears a melancholy expression.[68] Building on van der Weyden's theme of the role, practice and craft of an artist, van der Goes places pieces of charcoal, a knife and the feathers of a small bird in front of the saint.[69] The similarities to the van der Weyden are many and striking, and include the painting utensils, red robes, physician's cap and blue mantle. The figure has the same middle-aged facial type and his pose, kneeling on a green cushion, although reversed compared to van der Weyden's, is the same.[69] Van der Goes's adaption both increased van der Weyden's standing in the eyes of the later artist's followers, and led to a new group of copies that were modelled on the later painting.[41]
A tapestry version woven in Brussels c. 1500 is now in the Louvre.[70] It was probably designed using a reversed drawing of the painting.[71]

Left panel


Jun 22, 2010 - Archaeologists and art restorers using new laser technology have discovered what they believe are the oldest paintings of the faces of Jesus Christ's apostles. ... catacombs, which are owned and maintained by the Vatican.
Missing: cave ‎| Must include: cave

Oldest' image of St Paul discovered

Archaeologists have uncovered a 1,600 year old image of St Paul, the oldest one known of, in a Roman catacomb.

The 4,000 year old Fresco was restored using a  laser
The 1600 year old Fresco was restored using a laser

The fresco, which dates back to the 4th Century AD, was discovered during restoration work at the Catacomb of Saint Thekla but was kept secret for ten days.
During that time experts carefully removed centuries of grime from the fresco with a laser, before the news was officially announced through the Vatican's official newspaper L'Osservatore Romano.
There are more than 40 known Catacombs or underground Christian burial places across Rome and because of their religious significance the Vatican's Pontifical Commission of Sacred Archeology has jurisdiction over them.
A photograph of the icon shows the thin face of a bearded man with large eyes, sunken nose and face on a red background surrounded with a yellow circle – the classic image of St Paul.
The image was found in the Catacomb of St Thekla, close to the Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls in Rome, which is said to be built on the site where he was buried.
St Thekla was a follower of St Paul who lived in Rome and who was put to death under the Emperor Diocletian at the beginning of the 4th Century and who was subsequently made a saint but little else is known of her.
Barbara Mazzei, the director of the work at the Catacomb, said: "We had been working in the Catacomb for some time and it is full of frescoes.
"However the pictures are all covered with limestone which was covering up much of the artwork and so to remove it and clean it up we had to use fine lasers.
"The result was exceptional because from underneath all the dirt and grime we saw for the first time in 1600 years the face of Saint Paul in a very good condition.
"It was easy to see that it was Saint Paul because the style matched the iconography that we know existed at around the 4th Century – that is the thin face and the dark beard.
"It is a sensational discovery and is of tremendous significance. This is then first time that a single image of Saint Paul in such good condition has been found and it is the oldest one known of.
"Traditionally in Christian images of St Paul he is always alongside St Peter but in this icon he was on his own and what is also significant is the fact that St Paul's Basilica is just a few minutes walk away.
"It is my opinion that the fresco we have discovered was based on the fact that St Paul's Basilica was close by, there was a shrine to him there at that site since the 3rd Century.
"This fresco is from the early part of the 4th Century while before the earliest were from the later part and examples have been found in the Catacombs of Domitilla."
Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, the Vatican's culture minister, said:"This is a fascinating discovery and is testimony to the early Christian Church of nearly 2000 years ago.
"It has a great theological and spiritual significance as well as being of historic and artistic importance."
The Catacomb of St Thekla is closed to the public but experts said they hoped to be able to put the newly discovered icon of St Paul on display some time later this year.
St Paul was a Roman Jew, born in Tarsus in modern-day Turkey, who started out persecuting Christians but later became one of the greatest influences in the Church.
He did not know Jesus in life but converted to Christianity after seeing a shining light on the road to Damascus and spent much of his life travelling and preaching.
St Paul wrote 14 letters to Churches which he founded or visited and tell Christians what they should believe and how they should live but do not say much about Jesus' life and teachings.
He was executed for his beliefs around AD 65 and is thought to have been beheaded, rather than crucified, because he was a Roman citizen.
According to Christian tradition, his body was buried in a vineyard by a Roman woman and a shrine grew up there before Emperor Constantine consecrated a basilica in 324 which is now St Paul Outside the Walls.
St Paul's Outside the Walls is located about two miles outside the ancient walls of Rome and is the largest church in the city after St Peter's.
His feast day is on Monday along with St Peter and it is a bank holiday in Rome where they are patron saints of the city.
Officials are considering opening the tomb below St Paul's in the Basilica's crypt which is said to hold his remains.
A watercolour of St. Paul at the 'Cubicle of Apostles'
Image 1 of 2
An archaeologist gestures towards a watercolour of St. Paul at the 'Cubicle of Apostles' Photo: AFP/GETT

The oldest known images of the apostles

Courtesy of the Vatican’s Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archaeology

Paintings of Peter, Paul, Andrew and John, dating back to the 4th century, were discovered in the Roman catacombs of St. Tecla.

While working in the Roman catacombs of St. Tecla, archaeologists and restorers discovered paintings of the apostles Peter, Paul, Andrew and John on the ceiling. These portraits are now considered to be the oldest known images of Christ’s apostles.

Courtesy of the Vatican’s Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archaeology
The icon of Saint Peter discovered in the catacombs of Saint Tecla

CNA reports the Catacombs of St. Tecla are owned and maintained by the Vatican’s Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archaeology. The catacombs are located about a mile from the Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls, where St. Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, is buried.

Courtesy of the Vatican’s Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archaeology
The icon of Saint Paul discovered in the catacombs of Saint Tecla

The site was previously thought to only contain an image of St. Paul, but as the team worked to restore his painting, Peter, Andrew and John came into focus as well. The full-face icons are believed to have been commissioned by a Roman noblewoman.

Courtesy of the Vatican’s Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archaeology
The icon of Saint Andrew discovered in the catacombs of Saint Tecla

Fabrizio Bisconti, superintendent of archaeology at the catacombs, dated the paintings to around the 4th century. He went on to say:
“The paintings of Andrew and John are undoubtedly the oldest ever,” Bisconti commented. “Some showing Peter have been found that date to the middle of the fourth century although this is the first time that the apostle is not shown in a group but singly, in an icon.”

Courtesy of the Vatican’s Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archaeology
The icon of Saint John discovered in the catacombs of Saint Tecla
Barbara Mazzei, chief restorer at the site, explained that they were able to uncover the paintings thanks to new, sophisticated laser technology which is capable of peeling off thick calcium carbonate deposits without damaging the colors underneath. She also noted that this is the oldest evidence that the devotion to the apostles began in early Christianity.

The sanctuary of the Madonna of San Luca

Basilica di San Luca 2 by pio3 rid
Bologna - 10 June 2013 - Karina Mamalygo
Only two of the icons reputedly painted by St Luke the Evangelist coming from Constantinople are still in existence. One is the Virgin of Vladimir, one of the most venerated icons of the orthodox church, while the other is the Madonna of St Luke, housed in the sanctuary situated on a hilltop just outside the city of Bologna. Christian tradition claims that St Luke was the first icon painter however most probably both of these two icons are copies of ancient originals.
If you want to see the Madonna of Saint Luke you should visit the Colle della Guardia (the hill of the Guardwatch) at the end of the longest portico in the world. It is 3796 metres long with 666 arches and 15 chapels along the way. Supposedly the architect wanted 666 arches to suggest the idea of the Queen of Heaven crushing the Serpent: Satan.
The portico begins at the city’s Saragozza Gate and climbs to a height of 289 metres. Catholics believe that a pilgrim who has climbed to the top will receive pardon for all his or her sins.
Madonna di San Luca
Madonna of San Luca
Only two of the icons reputedly painted by St Luke the Evangelist coming from Constantinople are still in existence. 
 One is the Virgin of Vladimir, one of the most venerated icons of the orthodox church, while the other is the Madonna of St Luke, housed in the sanctuary situated on a hilltop just outside the city of Bologna.

According to legend, the icon was brought from the church of Santa Sophia in Constantinople by the Greek hermit Teocle Cminia in 1150. Supposedly when the hermit approached the icon which was hanging on a pillar under the dome, the Madonna herself appeared before him and told him to take this icon, painted by St Luke, “to the church on hill of the Guardia (Guardwatch)”.
However Teolcle had no idea where this place was. He journeyed through many countries and finally arrived in Rome where guided by the icon he found the ambassador from Bologna. The Bolognese noble explained how he could reach the hill and Teolcle left at once for Bologna. On the hill there was already a small church which had been built by a hermit who had apparently been averted to the imminent arrival of the icon. When Teolle reached Bologna he found the nobles and citizens waiting for him in order to celebrate the arrival of the icon and after three days of festivities on 8 May 1160 the icon was taken to the small church on the hill outside the city.
Unfortunately this original church of the reliquary no longer exists and there are also conflicting stories regarding its origins. According to certain documents the church was completed in 1194 and was blessed and consecrated by Pope Celestine III in the same year. The documents also mentioned the name of the hermit, Angelica Bonfantini requested to live as a hermit on the hill in 1192. Whatever the truth of the matter, what is sure is that the Church housing the Madonna became a sacred place and different monastic orders competed for the honour of guardianship.
Portico di San Luca
The Portico of San Luca
The icon became associated with miracles. The most notable leaving its mark in common memory was the “Miracle of the Rain” in 1433. The spring and summer of that year had been marked by constant heavy rain which risked destroying all crops. The citizens decided to pray to the Madonna for an end to the devastation and the icon was taken in a procession down to the city. On 5th July, just as the procession arrived at the Saragossa Gate the downpour abruptly ceased and the crops were saved.
After this miracle pilgrims came from all over Italy to visit the Sanctuary and the procession became an annual event. Every second Saturday of May the icon is taken down to St Peter’s cathedral in a magnificent procession accompanied by prayers, and hymns sung by the faithful.
Porta Saragozza, processione religiosa
Porta Saragozza, a religious procession
Like most other churches the sanctuary has undergone numerous modifications over the centuries. The church that you see today on the hilltop dates to 1751 and is by the architect Carlo Francesco Dotti. According to Girolamo Bianconi the author of a guidebook about Bologna in 1820, the restoration of the church cost 386 scudi which was an astronomical sum for that period. The sanctuary is in the form of a Greek cross with a magnificent dome, and the above the alter you will find the miraculous icon.
Basilica di San Luca
The Basilica of San Luca
Between the 12th and 13th centuries it was repainted by a master from the School of Pisa in a more Italian style, however the lines and the position of the Madonna and Child are as they were originally. The silver background, the blue-green robes of the Madonna and the scarlet tunic of the child are protected by a silver casing which only reveals the two faces, however the whole icon can also be seen on painted copies and prints at the exit of the sanctuary. If you find yourself in Bologna don’t miss the opportunity to see one of the most sacred and admired the objects of the Christian world coming from Constantinople.

Jan van Eyck, Madonna of Chancellor Rolin, c. 1435. Louvre, Paris
Van der Weyden reverses the positioning of the main figures; the Virgin appears to the left,[8] a positioning that became predominant in later Netherlandish diptychs. The colours in this work are warmer than those in the van Eyck. Van der Weyden switches the colours of their costumes; Luke is dressed in red or scarlet, Mary in the more typical warm blues. The Virgin type has further been changed, here she is depicted as a Maria Lactans ("Nursing Madonna"). This is one of the standard depictions of her, different from the Hodegetria (Our Lady of the Way, or She who points the way) Virgin type most usually associated with Byzantine and Northern 15th-century depictions of St Luke. This depiction of Mary's motherhood stresses the "redemption of mankind by Christ as human ... [and] spiritual nourishing".[12


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A Dionisius version of the Theotokos of Smolensk (c. 1500)
12th-century plaque found in Torcello Cathedral; a full-length figure like the original in Constantinople
A Hodegetria (Greek: Ὁδηγήτρια, lit. 'She who points the Way'; Russian: Одигитрия; Romanian: Hodighitria), or Virgin Hodegetria, is an iconographic depiction of the Theotokos (Virgin Mary) holding the Child Jesus at her side while pointing to him as the source of salvation for humankind. The Virgin's head usually inclines towards the child, who raises his hand in a blessing gesture. In the Western Church this type of icon is sometimes called Our Lady of the Way.
The most venerated icon of the Hodegetria type, regarded as the original, was displayed in the Monastery of the Panaghia Hodegetria in Constantinople, which was built specially to contain it. Unlike most later copies it showed the Theotokos standing full-length. It was said to have been brought back from the Holy Land by Eudocia, the wife of emperor Theodosius II (408–450), and to have been painted by Saint Luke the apostle himself.[1] The icon was double-sided,[2] with a crucifixion on the other side, and was "perhaps the most prominent cult object in Byzantium".[3]
The original icon has probably now been lost, although various traditions claim that it was carried to Russia or Italy. There are a great number of copies of the image, including many of the most venerated of Russian icons, which have themselves acquired their own status and tradition of copying.


There are a number of images showing the icon in its shrine and in the course of being displayed publicly, which happened every Tuesday, and was one of the great sights of Constantinople for visitors. After the Fourth Crusade, from 1204 to 1261, it was moved to the Monastery of the Pantocrator, which had become the cathedral of the Venetian see during the period of Frankish rule, and since none of the illustrations of the shrine at the Hodegetria Monastery predate this interlude, the shrine may have been created after its return.[4]
There are a number of accounts of the weekly display, the two most detailed by Spaniards:
Every Tuesday twenty men come to the church of Maria Hodegetria; they wear long red linen garments,[5] covering up their heads like stalking clothes […] there is a great procession and the men clad in red go one by one up to the icon; the one with whom the icon is pleased is able to take it up as if it weighed almost nothing. He places it on his shoulder and they go chanting out of the church to a great square, where the bearer of the icon walks with it from one side to the other, going fifty times around the square. When he sets it down then others take it up in turn.[6]
Another account says the bearers staggered around the crowd, the icon seeming to lurch towards onlookers, who were then considered blessed by the Virgin. Clergy touched pieces of cotton-wool to the icon and handed them out to the crowd. A wall-painting in a church near Arta in Greece shows a great crowd watching such a display, whilst a street-market for unconcerned locals continues in the foreground.[7]
The Hamilton Psalter picture of the shrine in the monastery appears to show the icon behind a golden screen of large mesh, mounted on brackets rising from a four-sided pyramidal base, like many large medieval lecterns. The heads of the red-robed attendants are level with the bottom frame of the icon.[8]
The icon disappeared during the Fall of Constantinople in 1453 when it was deposited at the Chora Church. It may have been cut into four pieces.[9]
Hodegetria by Berlinghiero of Lucca, (c. 1230) shows the Byzantine influence on Italian 13th-century art (Metropolitan Museum)

Spread of the image

In the 10th century, after the period of iconoclasm in Byzantine art, this image became more widely used, possibly developing from an earlier type where the Virgin's right hand was on Christ's knee.[10] An example of this earlier type is the Salus Populi Romani icon in Rome. Many versions carry the inscription "Hodegetria" in the background and in the Byzantine context "only these named versions were understood by their medieval audience as conscious copies of the original Hodegetria in the Hodegon monastery", according to Maria Vasilakē.[11]
Full-length versions, both probably made by Greek artists, appear in mosaic in Torcello Cathedral (12th century) and the Cappella Palatina, Palermo (c. 1150), this last with the "Hodegetria" inscription.[12]
From the Hodegetria developed the Panagia Eleousa (Virgin of Tender Mercy), where Mary still indicates Christ, but he is nuzzling her cheek, which she slightly inclines towards him; famous versions include the Theotokos of Vladimir and the Theotokos of St. Theodore. Usually Christ is on the left in these images.

Hodegetria of Smolensk

The shrine of the Hodegetria in Smolensk, as photographed by Prokudin-Gorsky in 1912.
Some Russians, however, believe that after the fall of Constantinople, St. Luke's icon surfaced in Russia, where it was placed in the Assumption Cathedral in Smolensk, Russia. On several occasions, it was brought with great ceremony to Moscow, where the Novodevichy Convent was built in her honour. Her feast day is August 10.
This icon, dated by art historians to the 11th century, is believed to have been destroyed by fire during the German occupation of Smolensk in 1941. A number of churches all over Russia are dedicated to the Smolensk Hodegetria, e.g., the Smolensky Cemetery Church in St. Petersburg and the Odigitrievsky Cathedral in Ulan-Ude. They may refer to the Theotokos as "Our Lady of Smolensk."

Italian tradition

An Italian tradition relates that the original icon of Mary attributed to Luke, sent by Eudocia to Pulcheria from Palestine, was a large circular icon only of her head. When the icon arrived in Constantinople, it was fitted in as the head in a very large rectangular icon of Mary holding the Christ child; it is this composite icon that became the one historically known as the Hodegetria. Another tradition states that when the last Latin Emperor of Constantinople, Baldwin II, fled Constantinople in 1261, he took this original circular portion of the icon with him. It remained in the possession of the Angevin dynasty, who likewise had it inserted into a larger image of Mary and the Christ child, which is presently enshrined above the high altar of the Benedictine Abbey church of Montevergine.[13][14] Unfortunately, over the centuries this icon has been subjected to repeated repainting, so that it is difficult to determine what the original image of Mary’s face would have looked like. However, Guarducci also claims that in 1950 an ancient image of Mary[15] at the Church of Santa Francesca Romana was determined to be a very exact, but reverse mirror image of the original circular icon that was made in the 5th century and brought to Rome, where it has remained until the present.[16]
An Italian "original" icon of the Hodegetria in Rome features in the crime novel Death and Restoration (1996) by Iain Pears, in the Jonathan Argyll series of art history mysteries.


Eastern church

Western church


St. Luke's Images of St. Mary

A catalog of images held to have been created by St. Luke the Evangelist

    Image source
Panagia Soumela, Veria, Imathia, Central Macedonia, Greece. Luke said to have carried icon on travels & (in one account) to Thebes, whence it was miraculously transported to a cave on Mt. Mela, Pontos, Turkey, where St. Barnabas and St. Sophronios found it in 386. Monastery burned 1929; icon found & moved to Greece, 1931; now in Panagia Soumela Monastery, Veria.  soumela-kastania.jpg (40719 bytes) Agioi_Anargyroi, "The miraculous icon of Panagia Soumela, and Sts. Barnabas, Sophronios," Aug. 3, 2009, Full of Grace and Truth,
Mother of God of Philermos, Cetinje, Montenegro. Icon said brought from Jerusalem to Rhodes c1000. Knights Hospitallers took it to Malta in 1522; presented it to Paul I of Russia in 1799. Now in the National Museum of Montenegro. Dated to 400s.  philerme.jpg (48745 bytes) "Our Lady of Philerme," The Sovereign Military and Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta,
Madonna di Montevergine, Mercogliano, Avellino, Campania, Italy. Underlying face could be that of original Hodegetria brought from Jerusalem to Constantinople by Empress Eudocia in 439; said brought to Italy by Baldwin II of Constantinople, its last Latin emperor, in 1261. Facial medallion donated to mountain shrine by Mary of Hungary, Queen of Naples, in 1295 & incorporated into a new painting by Montano d’Arezzo (Gerardo Troncone, "Il Primo Volto di Maria," Web Ing Av, Sept. 9, 2009, montevergine-face.jpg (147670 bytes)
montevergine-mercogliano.jpg (265195 bytes)
Mario MORRA, "AVELLINO : Santuario Madonna di Montevergine," Rivista Maria Ausiliatrice 2005-5, Placido Mario Tropeano, "Santuario di Montevergine - Madonna," Avellino Magazine,
Madonna del Conforto, Rome, Italy (Madonna of Comfort). Contact copy of original Hodegetria, encaustic on canvas, sent to western Emperor Valentinian III at the birth of his daughter in 439, installed in S. Maria Antiqua, Rome; moved to S. Maria Nova (now Basilica of  S. Francesca Romana) in the 800s; painted over 1200s, uncovered 1950. conforto-rome.gif (13139 bytes) Gabriella Gherardi, "Roma," La Madonna di S. Luca ed il suo portico tra storia e leggenda,
Madonna di San Sisto, Rome, Italy. Icon said brought from Constantinople by 3 brothers on Christ's orders & given to S. Maria in Tempulo. Moved to S. Sisto 1221, to SS. Domenico e Sisto 1575, to S. Maria del Rosario a Monte Mario in 1931. Dated to 500s (Gherardi). sisto-rome.jpg (45516 bytes) "Mary Mother of God," The Virtual Oratory,
Salus Populi Romani, Rome, Italy (Health of the Roman People). Icon said painted on cedar tabletop made by young Jesus, moved by St. Helena from Jerusalem to Constantinople or Rome; in S. Maria Maggiore, Rome, where Gregory I is said to have had it carried through the city in the plague of 593. Underlying layer dated to 600s (Hans Belting, in Wikipedia) or later; repainted c1200s. salus-rome.jpg (41604 bytes) "The Borghese Chapel," The Papal Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore,
The Famous One, Saidnaya, Al-Tall, Rif Dimashq, Syria. Icon said brought from Jerusalem to Saidnaya by Greek pilgrim Theodore, 700s. Invoked by women of all faiths to conceive. Hidden behind grill in Orthodox convent chapel. saidnaya2.jpg (161738 bytes) "Pictures of the different Shrines of the Holy Land," Pantokratoras,
Madonna della Civita, Itri, Latina, Latium, Italy. Painting said to have hung in Santa Sofia, in Constantinople, until the 700s when iconoclasts shut it up in a chest with two men caught trying to save it and threw the chest into the sea; washed safely ashore at Messina, Sicily, 50 days later; disappeared; and been found by a deaf-and-dumb herder, healed on the spot, on Mount Civita near Itri on the Italian west coast. Possibly brought there by Basilian monks. civita-itri.jpg (18124 bytes) "Madonna della Civita," Immagini mariane miracolose, Miracolose/Madonna della Civita.htm
Maria Nicopeia, Venice, Italy. Crusaders seized Victory icon from a Byzantine general's chariot during the Siege of Constantinople in 1203 and brought it to Venice, where it was installed in S. Marco. Dated to 800s. nicopeia-venice.jpg (29273 bytes) "Basilica San Marco - Nicopeia Madonna," Save Venice,
Mesopanditissa, Venice, Italy. Peacemaker icon said moved during Iconoclasm from Constantinople to Candia, Crete, where it resided in St. Titus Cathedral, revered and processed by both Catholics and Orthodox. Venice ruled Crete from 1204-1669, when Turks vanquished defenders under Francesco Morosini, who carried the icon to Venice, where it was installed in S. Maria della Salute. Dated to 1000s. mesopanditissa.jpg (283297 bytes) "Eventi a Venezia," B&B Romantica Venezia,
Santa Maria di Casaluce, Casaluce, Caserta, Campania, Italy. In 1276, Viceroy Ruggero Sanseverino brought the icon and two jars said to be those of Cana from Jerusalem to Naples, where Charles I bequeathed them to his nephew St. Louis of Toulouse, who in turn entrusted them to the Baron of Casaluce, where the Madonna Bruna's sanctuary has occupied the castle since the 1300s. Dated to 1000s. casaluce.jpg (21657 bytes) Salvatore Fusco, "Domani si celebra la festa di Maria SS. di Casaluce e delle Sacre Idrie," posted Jan. 14, 2012 to,
Hodegetria of Smolensk, Russia. Icon said written for Theophilus, Governor of Antioch, later moved to Jerusalem, brought from Jerusalem to Constantinople in 1046 for the marriage of Anastasia Monomakh to Vsevolod I of Kiev; moved to Smolensk by Vladimir II Monomakh (d. 1125); destroyed by fire during German occupation in 1941. Dated to 1000s.  smolensk.jpg (54594 bytes) Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1912), "Chudotvornaia ikona Bozh'ei Materi-Odigitrii v Uspenskom soborie. [Smolensk]," Library of Congress,
Santa Maria di Siponto, Manfredonia, Foggia, Apulia, Italy. Cedarwood icon said brought from Constantinople by St. Laurence in 492 after his relative Emperor Zeno designated him to fill the see of Siponto. Dated to 1000s. siponto-manfredonia.jpg (23400 bytes) manfredonia .net magazine,
Madonna Advocata, Rome, Italy. In Church of S. Maria in Aracoeli. Beechwood icon said to have come from Jerusalem, by way of the Chalkoprateia Church of the Theotokos in Constantinople, to Rome in the 400s. Dated to third quarter of the 1000s. advocata-aracoeli.jpg (112785 bytes) "Archivio," Istituto Superiore per la Conservazione ed il Restauro,
Lukasbild, Freising, Freising, Bavaria, Germany. Icon in Constantinople 1200s, then in Milan; Bishop Nicholas Della Scala donated it to Freising Cathedral in 1440. X-ray shows underlying image c1100. lukas-freising-det.jpg (177726 bytes) Vincenzina Krymow, Black Madonna, The Mary Page,
Beata Vergine di San Luca, Bologna, Italy. In 1160 a Greek pilgrim gave the icon to Bl. Angelica di Caicle and her companion at their hermitage on Guardia hill outside Bologna. Underlying Byzantine image dated to c1100. Repainted c1200.  "Icona della Beata Vergine di San Luca," Opere - Direzione Regionale per i Beni Culturali e Paesaggistici dell'Emilia Romagna,
Madonna Costantinopolitana, Padua, Italy. Icon said leaped in 741 from iconoclasts' flames to the arms of a woman who gave it to St. Urio, who took it from Constantinople to Italy. In 1500s covered with cloth & repainted. Analysis indicates c1100. In monastery of Santa Giustina since 1100s. costantinopolitana-padua.jpg (11426 bytes) "Santi," Abbazia S. Giustina,
Our Lady of Vladimir, Moscow, Russia. Icon said brought from Jerusalem to Constantinople in 450; from Constantinople to Vyshgorod, near Kiev, in 1131; Prince Andrei Bogolubsky moved it to Vladimir in 1155. After defending Moscow from Tatars, it moved there in 1480. It hung in Moscow's Church of the Annunciation until 1918, and is now in the Tretyakov Gallery, which dates it to the early 1100s. vladimir-tretyakov.jpg (54453 bytes) "Collection — GTG," Tretyakov State Gallery,
Mother of God of Mercy, Kykko, Nicosia, Cyprus. Icon said painted on Tree of Life wood given to Mary by Gabriel; moved to Constantinople 400s. In thanks for curing his daughter, Byzantine Emperor Alexius Comnenus (r. 1080-1118) gave it to Isaiah the hermit, who installed it in the monastery he built at Kykko. Covered since 1576. 1757kykkos.gif (24698 bytes) 1757 version by Charalambos Kykkotis, HOLY MONASTERY OF KYKKOS,
Chrysoroyiatissa, Panagia, Pafos, Cyprus. Icon said thrown from south Anatolian coast into sea during iconoclasm, floated to Cyprus, hidden in cave until 1152, when a light guided ascetic Ignatius to it; after he took it to his hermitage at Kremasti (Rhodes), he moved it to the present site where he built a shrine and monastery at Mary's request.  chrysorroyiatissa.jpg (101169 bytes) Original kept covered. Copy (n.d.) from "Παναγιές της Κύπρου – Madonnas of Cyprus," ΤΡΕΛΟ-ΓΙΑΝΝΗΣ,
All-Holy Lady of the Knife, Machairas Monastery, Lazanias, Nicosia, Cyprus. Machairiotissa icon held to have covered Virgin's relics at Blachernae in Constantinople; said moved by a hermit to Cyprus in Iconoclastic period (700s) & found in 1145 by hermits Ignatios and Neophytos, who cut away brambles with a knife.  machairiotissa.jpg (21557 bytes) "Παναγία η Μαχαιριώτισσα," Βικιπαίδεια,
Madonna Avvocata, Rome, Italy. Said brought by nuns from Constantinople to Rome c750 with relics of St. Gregory Nazianzen and installed in church of S. Gregorio Nazianzeno in Campo Marzio. Now in Palazzo Barberini. Dated to mid-1100s.  avvocata-rome.jpg (40957 bytes) "Scuola romana del XII sec. - Madonna Avvocata o Haghiosoritissa," Sito Ufficiale Galleria Barberini,
Santa Maria di Maniace, Bronte, Catania, Sicily, Italy, nursing icon in church of same name in Castello Nelson, said donated by Byzantine Greek general George Maniakes to commemorate a victory over the Arabs in 1040. Dated to 1100s. maniace-bronte.jpg (13243 bytes) "Castello Nelson, la chiesa (interno)," Bronte Insieme/Monumenti,
Santa Maria, Impruneta, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy. Painting said brought to Impruneta by a Roman disciple of St. Peter, St. Romulus of Fiesole (d. 90); discovered during construction of Catholic church consecrated 1060. Icon repainted, some date to 1100s. impruneta.jpg (58060 bytes) "La Chiesa di Santa Maria dell'Impruneta," Impruneta: fornaci cotto terracotta dell'Impruneta,
Mare de Déu de Montserrat, Monestir de Montserrat, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. Statue said brought from Jerusalem for safekeeping from Saracens in 718 & found in 890; dated to 1100s. moreneta-imatge.gif (88762 bytes) "Amb serra d'or," Pepquímic, April 27, 2009,
Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, Guadalupe, Cáceres, Extremadura, Spain. Cedar statue said buried with Luke in Turkey, moved to Constantinople 300s, taken to Rome by Gregory the Great who then sent it as a gift to the bishop of Seville (500s), hidden during Muslim invasion (c714), unearthed c1300 on advice of apparition. Dated to 1100s. guadalupe-caceres.gif (42879 bytes) Real Monasterio de Santa María de Guadalupe,
Madone de Fenestre, Saint-Martin-Vésubie, Alpes-Maritimes, Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur, France. Cedar statue said brought to Marseilles by St. Mary Magdalene, to alpine shrine by Templars. Dated to 1100s. fenestre-stmartin.jpg (37178 bytes) Gabriella Gherardi, "Madone de Fenestre," La Madonna di S. Luca ed il suo portico tra storia e leggenda,
Notre-Dame-des-Fers, Orcival, Puy-de-Dôme, Auvergne, France (Our Lady of the Irons). Walnut statue said to have come from a previous chapel on a mound known as the Tomb of the Virgin, near a sacred spring; the French Ministry of Culture dates it contemporaneous with the present Basilica, c1170. Damaged in the French Revolution; hands replaced. orcival.jpg (34405 bytes) "Orcival," Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia,
Madonna tal-Mellieha, Mellieha, Malta. St. Luke said to have painted image on cave wall after he and St. Paul shipwrecked on Malta. Dated to c1200. Mellieha.jpg (66304 bytes) John Scerri, "Troglodytic-Siculo-Norman," Churches and Chapels of Malta and Gozo,
Madonna del Popolo, Rome, Italy (Madonna of the People). In 1231, Pope Gregory IX moved the icon to this church from the Lateran Sancta Sanctorum. Usually dated c1200. popolo-rome.jpg (244324 bytes) Fabio Piedimonte, "La chiesa di Santa Maria del Popolo a Roma," I luoghi importanti della mia vita,
Czarna Madonna, Częstochowa, Silesia, Poland (Black Madonna). Icon said painted from life on tabletop made by young Jesus, brought from Jerusalem to Constantinople by St. Helena in 326 (or by Empress Eudocia in 439); installed by Lev I of Galicia at Belz, Ukraine, c1270; and at Częstochowa by Władysław Opolczyk in 1382. Underlying encaustic layer dated to c1200. czestochowa.jpg (75101 bytes) Troy Bettinger, "Our Lady of Czestochowa at Jasna Góra Monastery," Holy Trinity Catholic Church Renovation, May 10, 2008,
Madonna della Pace, Venice, Italy (Madonna of Peace). Icon brought from Constantinople to Venice in 1349, given by Paolo Morosini to Dominicans 1503; moved to Church of SS. Giovanni & Paolo (S. Zanipolo) after suppression of 1806. Dated to c1200. pace-venice1.jpg (55260 bytes) Brian McMorrow, "San Zanipolo Photo Gallery,"
Madonna del Castello, Lentini, Syracuse, Sicily, Italy. Painting said found on beach 25 mi N of Syracuse in 1240 & carried by unguided oxen to Lentini. Inscribed "Luke to Lentinians." Attributed to Italo-Cretan school of 1st half of 1200s ("L'Icona della Madonna del Castello," Regina Mundi, castello-lentini.jpg (40260 bytes) Posting by Vincent, Aug. 2, 2010, Benedetti dal Signore: agosto 2010,
Theotokos of St. Theodore, Kostroma, Kostroma, Russia. Prince Vasiliy Yaroslavich of Kostroma is said to have found the icon hanging on an evergreen tree in 1239. Now in Epiphany Orthodox Monastery, Kostroma. feodorovskaj-kostroma.jpg (43802 bytes) "Угличский Богоявленский монастырь,"
All-Holy Lady of the Great Cave, Kalavryta, Achaea, West Greece, Greece. (Megalospilaiotissa). Encaustic icon said brought to Greek hermitage by Luke & found in cave by shepherdess Euphrosyne; a dragon appeared & died when she showed it to Sts. Theodore & Simeon, who founded the monastery there. Dated to 1200s (A. Xyngopoulos). Megalosphliwtissa.jpg (44586 bytes)
Theotòkos, Grottaferrata, Roma, Latium, Italy. Icon in Basilian monastery established in 1004. Usually dated to 1200s. grottaferrata.jpg (46651 bytes) "Arte e Cultura - Icona della Madre di Dio,"
Madonna delle Grazie, Rome, Italy. Icon given by Emperor Constans II (possibly during his visit in 663) to Pope Vitalian, who built a church to house it; moved in 1088 to new church of Santa Maria delle Grazie al Foro Romano, and in 1876 to Santa Maria della Consolazione; dated to 1200s; stolen in 1960. New copy (photo, right) by Alfonso Caccese installed 2003.  grazie-consolazione-roma-crop.png (49272 bytes) "5 - Cappella di Santa Maria delle Grazie," Soprintendenza Speciale per il Patrimonio Storico, Artistico ed Etnoantropologico e per il Polo Museale della città di Roma,
Nuestra Señora de la Sierra, Cabra, Córdoba, Andalucía, Spain. Wood polychrome statue said brought by St. Hesychius of Cazorla (1st century); hidden 714; found 1240. Gothic, 1200s; child added 1700s. sierra-cabra.jpg (23926 bytes) "septiembre," Capilla de Música -Schola Cantorum- de Ntra. Sra. de la Asunción y Ángeles. Cabra (Córdoba), 2009, capillademusicasuncionyangeles.
Madonna di Crea, Serralunga di Crea, Alessandria, Piedmont, Italy. Cedar statue said brought from Jerusalem in 300s by St. Eusebius of Sardinia. Variously dated, possibly 1200s. crea.jpg (151641 bytes) 1981 postcard view from "La Madonna di Crea in cartolina," Casale News, July 31, 2010,
Majka Milosti, Trsat, Rijeka, Croatia. Pope Urban V donated painting of the nursing Mother of Mercy in 1367. Fondazione Zeri classes it a Veneto-Byzantine work of 1250-1350 ( milosti-trsat.jpg (176144 bytes) Darko Tepert, "Datoteka:Gospa Trsatska.jpg," Wikipedija,
Madonna della Lettera, Messina, Sicily, Italy. Cathedral's hodegetria probably destroyed in 1254 fire and replaced; possibly replaced again in 1500s or 1700s; destroyed in 1943 bombardment and replaced in 1947 with an image in which Mary's right hand holds her letter to Messina. lettera-messina-1620.jpg (116575 bytes) Giovanni Federico Greuter, engraving, 1620, "S. Maria del Literio di Messina, 1620," Sito Web dedicato a Maria SS. della Lettera,
Tikhvin Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos, Tikhvin, Leningrad, Russia. Said brought in the 400s from Jerusalem to Constantinople, where it resided in the Blachernae church until 1383, when it disappeared & reappeared over Lake Ladoga in Russia. Dated c1300. Tikhvinskaya.jpg (34866 bytes)
Madonna di San Brizio, Orvieto, Terni, Umbria, Italy. Said by Luke or acheiropoieta, and brought from his native Syria by St. Brictius, first bishop of Spoleto, who gave it to Orvieto when evangelizing there in the 300s. Probably a local work c1300. sanbrizio-orvieto.gif (40663 bytes) "CALENDARIO - articoli & dossier," Orvieto e circondario in modo non-banale,
Vierge de Saint Luc, Liège, Wallonia, Belgium. Icon dated to the early 1300s, retouched in the 1400s and 1930s, said given to Liège cathedral by emperor Frederick II (d. 1250). Now in the Trésor de Liège museum. luc-liege.jpg (45070 bytes) Georges Weber et al., "L'icône de la Vierge sous l'œil du cyclotron," Bloc-Notes no. 26, March 2011, Trésor de la Cathédrale de Liège
Madonna con Bambino, Rome, Italy. Sancta Sanctorum icon given by Pope Eugene IV to the Confraternita di San Bernardo at Tre Fontane in 1430; moved to San Bernardo a Colonna Traiani in 1430 and to thence Ss. Nome di Maria al Foro Traiano, when it replaced San Bernardo in the mid-1700s. Fondazione Zeri judges it a work of 1300-1310 by the Master of S. Maria in Via Lata. nome-roma.jpg (66026 bytes) Icon after 1970 restoration, FONDAZIONE ZERI | CATALOGO : Work : Maestro di Santa Maria in Via Lata , Madonna con Bambino
Čajniče Mother of God, Čajniče, Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Dexiotrousa given by Stephen Uroš V of Serbia to Banja Monastery near Priboj, Serbia in thanks for healing; saved when Turks burned Banja and moved to Čajniče monastery church in 1498. Dated to c1330. cajnice.jpg (34733 bytes) Maja Radovic, "Nepoznata istorija," Vesti online, 28-10-2009,
Unserer Lieben Frau, Regensburg, Bavaria, Germany. Pope Benedict VIII gave it to emperor Heinrich II on the occasion of his coronation as Holy Roman Emperor in 1014. Present dexiotrousa in the Alten Kapelle of the Catholic Stiftskirche dated to 1330. altenkapelle-regensburg.jpg (104395 bytes) Alte-Kapelle Regensburg,
Virgen de los Milagros, Palos de la Frontera, Huelva, Andalucia, Spain. Alabaster statue said brought to current site by Capt. Constantino Daniel, on orders of St. Macarius, bishop of Jerusalem, in 331; hidden in sea during Islamic period; caught by fishermen in 1472, boat brought it to Monastery of La Rábida. Dated to 1335-50. milagros-rabida.jpg (122175 bytes) Francisco A. Fernández, "Nuestra Señora de los Milagros o de la Rábida, s XIV, autor anónimo, estilo gótico normando francés," Revista Pasos de Fe, 8 Sept. 2012,
Madonna di Oropa, Oropa, Biella, Piedmont, Italy. Statue said brought from Jerusalem in 300s by St. Eusebius of Sardinia. Possibly 1300s. For varied dating results, see Giulio Pavignano, "I Santuari di Biellese," Cultura locale biellese, oropa.jpg (28007 bytes) Ella Rozett, "Oropa,",
Virgen de Guadalupe, Úbeda, Jaén, Andalucia, Spain. Cedarwood statue found by plowman in 1381, destroyed in 1936 during the Civil War, replaced in 1939 with a replica (right), based on a drawing of the original, by sculptor Fernando Cruz Muñoz. "Talla de la Virgen de Guadalupe," Chiquitilla del Gavellar,
Matka Boża Zwycięska, Gdańsk, Pomerania, Poland (Victorious Mother of God). Cypresswood Hodegetria said brought from Constantinople to Kiev by Anna, daughter of Byzantine Emperor Basil II, at her marriage to Vladimir the Great in 988; moved to Halych under Yaroslav Osmomysl (d. 1187), to the new Galician capital Lviv under Leo I in 1270, and in 1946 from the former Dominican church of Corpus Christi in Lviv, Ukraine (since reopened) to the Dominican Church of St. Nicholas in Gdańsk, whose website says it is a late-1300s work of the Serbo-Macedonian school. victory-gdansk.png (221596 bytes) "Obraz Matki Boskiej Zwycięskiej z Lwowa – obecnie w kościele św. Mikołaja w Gdańsku," posted by Tadeusz Czernik, June 4, 2012,
Toropets Mother of God, Knyazhe Ozero, Istrinsky, Moscow, Russia. Icon said brought from Ephesus by order of Emperor Manuel I Komnenos, so he could send it to St. Euphrosyne of Polotsk at her request; kept a year in Kherson (now in Ukraine, hence AKA Korsun Icon) en route to convent in Belarus; given to Euphrosyne's great-niece Alexandra of Polotsk at her marriage to St. Alexander Nevsky in Toropets, Russia; there until 1936, when it moved to the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg. In 2009, it moved to St. Alexander Nevsky Church in a new suburb of Moscow. Most authorities date it 1300s. Korsun_Odigitriya.gif (81350 bytes) "Торопецкая икона Божией Матери," Википедия,
Nossa Senhora de Nazaré, Nazaré, Leiria, Oueste, Centro, Portugal. Black Virgo Lactans statue said carved by St. Joseph, painted by St. Luke, brought from Nazareth to Spain in the 400s by monk Ciriaco and to Portugal in 711 by monk Rodrigo. "Possibly carved in the 1300-1400s" (Pedro Penteado, Peregrinos da memória, Estudos de história religiosa 1, U. Católica Portuguesa, Lisbon, 1998). nazare-nazare1.jpg (92701 bytes)
Virgen de la Fuencisla, Segovia, Castile and León, Spain. Mary stands, gazing pensively at the naked child in her right arm. In the year 71 St. Hierotheos, legendary disciple of St. Paul and first bishop of Segovia, is said to have brought the statue found in 1130. Usually dressed; dated to c1400, restored 2012. fuencisla-segovia.jpg (26879 bytes) "La Virgen de la Fuencisla llega restaurada a Segovia," - El periódico audiovisual de Segovia,, Sept. 17, 2012
Maica Domnului din Manastirea Namaiesti, Valea Mare-Pravăţ, Argeş, Sud, Romania. Eleusa (Tenderness) icon said brought to Romania by St. Andrew the Apostle and found by 3 shepherds with Mary's guidance. Considered 600 years old in 2004, when restoration covered remaining traces of the Virgin's face with painted cloth ("Restoration of Virgin and Child Icon," namaiesti.jpg (34142 bytes) Photo of icon before restoration (detail) from "Icoana Maicii Domnului de la Manastirea Namaiesti," Portal Crestin Ortodox,
Madonna dell'Elemosina, Biancavilla, Catania, Sicily, Italy (Madonna of Charity). Refugees brought cedar Eleusa from Scutari, Albania to Sicily in 1482. Probable date early 1400s (Vasile Mutu, elemosina-biancavilla1.jpg (32000 bytes) Basilica Santuario Maria SS. dell'Elemosina,
Virgen de los Llanos, Albacete, Albacete, Castile-La Mancha, Spain (Virgin of the Plains). Said brought to Spain by St. James. Found by farmer's plow c1427. Statue remodeled in 1631 & c1400 heads hidden in body, rediscovered in 1939 during restoration of image decapitated in Civil War. llanos.jpg (26950 bytes)
Reina de los Ángeles, Jimena de la Frontera, Cádiz, Andalucía, Spain. Alabaster statue said brought from Antioch to Spain in 190. Broken during Civil War, restored 1937. Usually vested, with second child outside robes. Probably from the 1400s. angeles-jimena.jpg (72136 bytes) "EL SANTUARIO Y LA IMAGEN DE LA REINA DE LOS ÁNGELES DE JIMENA DE LA FRONTERA ( Cádiz )," eduardo saenz de varona,
Mother of God Hodegetria, Vilnius, Lithuania. Defeated emperor Thomas Palaiologos brought the icon from Constantinople to Rome in 1460. His daughter Sophia brought it to Moscow in 1472, when she married Great Prince Ivan III, and sent it to Vilnius with their daughter Helena at her marriage to Alexander, King of Lithuania, in 1495. Original now lost; copy in Holy Spirit Orthodox Monastery, Vilnius. vilensky.jpg (30914 bytes)
Anufiana, Dălhăuţi, Cârligele, Vrancea, Romania. Said brought from Jerusalem or Constantinople by Romanian monk Anufie, who built the first shrine at Dălhăuţi c1465. Sometimes said to date from iconoclastic period. In Church of the Holy Archangels Michael and Gabriel at Orthodox women's monastery. dalhautinoreza.jpg (44802 bytes) Dumitru Manolache, "Icoana Maicii Domnului de la Dalhauti, "sora geamana" a "Portaritei" de la Iviru," Ziarul Lumina, 23 March 2010,
Madonna di Capo Colonna, Crotone, Calabria, Italy. Icon said brought by St. Dionysius the Areopagite. Variously termed a Byzantine work of the 1000s (town) or 1200s (Fondazione Zeri), or a Neapolitan work of second half of the 1400s (Margherita Corrado). capo_colonna-203x300.jpg (14075 bytes) Margherita Corrado, "La Vergine di Capo
Colonna: storia e metamorfosi di un dipinto,"
Madonna delle Grazie, Ascoli Piceno, Marche, Italy. Icon given to the diocese of Ascoli Piceno by native son Pope Nicholas IV, who may have acquired it when serving as legate to the Greeks in 1272. Original burned c1300. Tempera panel now in Cathedral is by Pietro Alemanno, dating from the last 20 years of the 1400s, with unclothed child typical of that period. grazie-ascoli.jpg (159577 bytes) "Leffigie della Madonna delle Grazie in tutte le parrocchie di Ascoli,", Feb. 9, 2010,
Madonna di San Luca, Bagolino, Brescia, Lombardy, Italy. Dexiotrousa said brought from Holy Land by crusaders, found in Castello in 1441 & moved to Church of S. Giorgio. Probably a Venetian work c1500 (G. Panazza, see "Le Chiese," Bagolino, sanluca-bagolino.jpg (14628 bytes) "Il Bresciano - Carnevale a Bagolino," ADL ©Atlante Demologico Lombardo,
Madonna Odigitria, Bari, Apulia, Italy. Icon said brought from Constantinople during iconoclasm of Leo III (717-41). Present image dated to 1500s. Recent restoration revealed original position of hand on lap (right), moved up to classic hodigitria position in 1700s. odigitria-bari.jpg (9247 bytes) Gabriella Gherardi, "La Madonna Odighitria Patrona di Bari," La Madonna di S. Luca ed il suo portico tra storia e leggenda,
Mare de Dèu del Miracle, Cocentaina, Alicante, Valencia, Spain. Panel said brought from Jerusalem to Constantinople in 400s and by Cardinal Bessarion to Rome in 1400s, then given by Pope Nicholas V (d. 1455) to Ximén Perez de Corella, first Count of Cocentaina, in thanks for military assistance. It wept during plague of 1520. Sometimes termed a work of the 1500s. miracle-cocentaina.jpg (587942 bytes) José Cascant, "Mare de Déu del Miracle," La Mare de Déu, Sept. 6, 2010,
Santa Maria della Stella, Trana, Torino, Piedmont, Italy (St. Mary of the Star). Cedar statue extant in parish church 1510, returned to 1000s rural sanctuary when it was rebuilt after apparitions of 1768. wpe1.jpg (3974 bytes) Per Grazie Ricevute, (screen clip)
Panagia Prousiotissa, Karpenisi, Haryana, Central Greece, Greece. Icon said moved from Bursa, Turkey in 829 and hidden from iconoclasts in mountains; found in 840 by shepherd boy drawn by radiance. Variously dated to middle Byzantine or post-Byzantine period; possibly substituted after 1517 monastery fire. prousiotissa-karpenisi.jpg (21520 bytes) "Παναγία Προυσιώτισσα: Η Αρχόντισσα της Ρούμελης," Κοινός Παρονομαστής,
Virgen de la Almudena, Madrid, Spain. Pine statue in cathedral said carved by St. Nicodemas, painted by St. Luke, brought to Spain by St. James or his disciple in 38 AD, hidden during Islamic period, found in 1085 by Alfonso VI in wall of Moorish citadel. Dated to 1500s. almudena-madrid.jpg (268181 bytes) Joaquin Hernandez, "MADRID on Flickr,"
Our Lady of Expectation, Chennai, Kerala, India. Oil-on-wood "scapular of St. Thomas" said brought to Madras by St. Thomas the Apostle who wore it as a breastplate. On St. Thomas Mount in Church of Nossa Senhora da Expectação (1523). First documented 1559. Possibly Portuguese. expectation-thomas.jpg (10091 bytes) Ishwar Sharan, "The Deccan Chronicle Deceits," The St Thomas In India History Swindle,
Virgen de las Huertas, Lorca, Murcia, Spain (Virgin of the Gardens). Statue said brought by Alfonso X when conquering Lorca in 1244. Lucan origin no longer claimed, tradition mentioned by Gálvez Borgoñoz in Mussato Polihistor, 1734. Original, probably 1700s, destroyed in the Civil War, replaced by José Sánchez Lozano's copy.  huertas-lorca.jpg (103889 bytes) Pedro Morote, Blasones y antigüedades de la Ciudad de Lorca, 1741; Agrupación Cultural Lorquina, Lorca, 1980
Jerusalem Mother of God, Moscow, Russia. Dexiotrousa said written 15 years after Christ's ascension; moved to Constantinople in 463; to Kherson in 988 at baptism of Grand Duke Vladimir, who sent it to Novgorod when it became Christian; moved to Dormition Cathedral, Kremlin, Moscow in 1571; stolen by Napoleon's troops in 1812 and taken to Notre-Dame, Paris. But it isn't there. Replaced by 1701 copy. jerusalem-izmailovo.jpg (20984 bytes) Photo of late 1600s copy in Izmailovo Protection Cathedral, Moscow, from ХрамПокрова.ру: Святыни, Иерусалимская икона Божьей Матери,
Three-Handed Mother of God, Hilandar Monastery, Mt. Athos, Macedonia, Greece. St. John of Damascus is said to have given the dexiotrousa in 730 to a Jerusalem monastery, which gave it in the 1200s to St. Sava, who took it to Serbia, whence it escaped miraculously to Mt. Athos in the 1400s when Turks invaded Serbia. Historical records indicate the icon originated in Skopje, Macedonia, and moved to Hilandar just before the Turks conquered Skopje in 1392. The present icon dates from the 1700s (Bojan Miljković, "The history about the miraculous icons of the Hilandar Monastery," Zograf 2006-2007). 3hands-hilandar.jpg (21814 bytes) Veljko Guberina, "800 Years of Hilandar," Arhiva Advokatske Komore Srbije,

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