What Is Odigitria

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What Is Odigitria
What Is Odigitria

Video: What Is Odigitria

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Video: След Одигитрии / Искатели / Телеканал Культура 2023, February

If you carefully consider several Orthodox icons depicting the Mother of God, you will notice that they are divided into several types. On some, the Mother of God and Jesus pressed their cheeks to each other, on others the mother tells the baby something, and so on. Each type of plot has its own name, and one of them is Our Lady of Hodegetria.

What is Odigitria
What is Odigitria

Where does the name come from

The first split of Christianity occurred in the early Middle Ages. The year 1054 is considered to be the exact date of the final division of the One Christian Church into Western and Eastern. The discrepancies affected not only dogmas, but also rituals, and, of course, iconographic subjects. Of course, the Catholics also depict the Blessed Virgin with the Baby in her arms, but Western painting, even on religious subjects, looks more secular outwardly. An Orthodox icon must follow more stringent canons, and the names for some subjects are Greek. The word "Hodegetria" comes from the Greek language, which means "pointing". According to legend, the author of the very first icon with such a plot was the evangelist Luke.

In Catholic terminology, it is more customary to call Mary not the Mother of God, but the Madonna.

How she looks like?

From the group of icons depicting the Mother of God with Jesus in her arms, select those where the baby has already grown up, he sits on his mother's lap, and she tells him something. The mother is holding the baby with one hand. The palm of the second hand is open and directed upwards, as if Mary is telling her baby something, guiding him on the right path. This is the Mother of God Hodegetria. I must say that the body of Jesus always has the same proportions, regardless of the age at which he is depicted. This is a feature of the Orthodox canon. In the Catholic icon, the proportions of the human body correspond to age, and the Baby Jesus is no different from any other child. On the Orthodox icon "Odigitria" the Mother of God is usually depicted up to the waist. But, for example, only the shoulders are depicted on the icon of the Kazan Mother of God.

The icon on which Jesus presses his cheek to his mother's is called the Mother of God of Tenderness.

What is the divine Youth busy with?

On icons with such a plot, Jesus usually holds a scroll in his hand. Sometimes you can see a book, but this is a rarer option. The image of Christ the Almighty appears before the viewer. This image also has a Greek name - Pantokrator. With the other hand, the Youth blesses humanity.

A similar plot

There is a plot that is very similar to the one described, but still has some differences. This is the Mother of God Eleusa. The images differ in the position of the figures relative to each other. In the plot "The Mother of God Hodegetria" the main character is the Mother of God, and the attention of the forthcoming one, that is, the viewer, is directed to him. In the plot "Our Lady of Eleusa" the main character is Christ. The Mother of God points to him with her free hand, as if emphasizing that it is he who is the main one in this scene.

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