Orthodox icon | Pokrov | Intercession of the Mother of God | 24759.
This Russian icon, complemented with a metal oklad and fully painted through, depicts a significant event in the Orthodox faith.
Celebrated on October 1st, the Feast of the Mother of God Pokrov commemorates the apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Blachernae Church in Constantinople, known for housing her sacred robe, veil, and a piece of her belt.
During a religious service, Saint Andrew (the Fool-for-Christ) and his disciple Epiphanius, both passed away in 956, witnessed a vision. The Virgin Mary, accompanied by Saint John the Baptist, John the Evangelist, and other saints, moved towards the ambon.
At the altar, she turned to face the congregation and covered all the faithful with her enveloping veil. Only Andrew and Epiphanius saw this divine appearance, but everyone present felt the grace of her prayerful intercession.
The icon presents the Mother of God floating on a tiny cloud while holding the protective veil. To her right, a group of saints led by John the Theologian can be seen, while to her left, another group of saints led by John the Baptist is depicted. The lower right corner showcases Andrew the Fool-for-Christ and his disciple Epiphanius.
Encircling the ambon is a youthful Romanos the Melodist, celebrated on October 1st, who was an acclaimed hymnographer from either the 6th or 8th century. Behind the ambon stands a choir of youths and virgins, all set against the architectural backdrop of the Blachernae Church.
An additional scene on the bottom right portrays a dream of Saint Romanos, where the Mother of God appears to him and presents a roll of parchment for him to consume. The following day, he surprises everyone by singing in the service with a beautiful voice, earning him the status of being the foremost poet of church services. This beautiful depiction encapsulates a pivotal moment in Orthodox history and faith.