Item: Smolensk (Hodegetria) Mother of God Russian IconDate: 19th centuryOrigin: Central RussiaMaterials: Egg tempera, gesso on woodOverlaid with silver chased and gilded okladSilver mark 84, 1882Size: 12.25 x 10.5 in (31 x 26.5 cm)
The Smolenskaya icon is named for the city of Smolensk, where it was originally kept in the Dormition cathedral in Smolensk. From the 15th–16th centuries onwards it became one of the most revered images of the Virgin and was widely copied. It was credited with having saved the Russian state from invaders, including the defeat of Napoleon at the battle of Borodino in 1812. Thus the icon of the Smolensk Mother of God was the subject of special veneration in Moscow, of which city it was the protector and patron.
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