Thursday, 6 May 2010

Variation on a Theme -- Icons

Our Lady of Vladimir (variation of original) drawing by S. Thayer

Our Lady of Vladimir (original icon)

First of all, let me apologize for failing to post anything on the 4th of May.  I absolutely, completely, forgot about it!  See what happens when you get to be an old lady?!!  Anyway, to those of you who were wondering if I was sick or something, no, I am fine, just forgetful.

Now for today's drawing.

I came across a modern Russian icon of Our Lady -- in the tradition of Our Lady of Vladimir -- which was called "Theotokos of Vladimirskaya"  which, translated, is "Mother of God of Vladimir".  As you can see from the two images above (my drawing and the photo), my drawing looks very little like the original icon other than the pose of Mother and Child.

The "Vladimir Madonna" is one of the most venerated Orthodox icons and a typical example of Byzantine iconography.  Even more that most famous icons, the original has been copied repeatedly for centuries.  Many copies now have considerable artistic and religious significance of their own.  The icon is a version of the Eleusa (Greek for "tenderness") type, with the Christ Child snuggling up to his Mother's cheek.  

I have drawn a number of these Eleusa type icons over the past few years -- with the one below being one of the more traditional ones:

Our Lady of Tenderness (drawing by S. Thayer)

My version shows the heads more prominently than the original and does not show Our Lady's hand; however, it is definitely an attempt to capture the tenderness expressed in the original.

Next, I want to show you something that my friend, Jay, sent to me recently along with a photograph.  It is a story both tragic and heartwarming about a young deer.

Jay writes: 

"Yesterday, a lady came to select photos I had taken of her family.  She told me about finding a baby deer on the side of the road that had been knocked from its mother’s womb by an automobile accident three weeks ago.  She just happened to have it in the car with her, so I took his picture in my yard.
His right rear hoof was damaged but is being cared for by a veterinarian."

I call him the "Miracle Deer" -- I mean, what is the likelihood that the mother would be struck by a car at just the right time for her baby to be born -- and that the baby would be knocked from her womb and survive!  Amazing.
I am posting this early today since I failed to post on Tuesday.  This way I will definitely not forget!  I will try my best in the future to remember to post on all even-numbered days!

May peace be with you all and with all of creation.

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