Mother of God, Sweet Kissing (Glykophilousa); Mother of God, Loving Kindness (Eleousa)
wood; stain; metal; paint
Greek; English; Italian; German; French
H: 9.3 in. x W: 6.9 in. x D: 0.7 in.
H: 23.5 cm. x W: 17.6 cm. x D: 1.8 cm.
Copyright 2011 College of Saint Benedict. All rights reserved.
Artifacts; Original Drawings, Paintings, Icons, Calligraphy;
This object was both dry and damp cleaned according to directions from a conservation expert when it was received at Clemens Library.
This original work is a flat, rectangular composition depicting the three-quarter length figure of the Mother of God, Glykophilousa (Sweet kissing). Except for the painted faces of the Mother of God and Jesus Christ, the image is worked entirely in embossed sterling silver. The icon is named with a Greek inscription above the figures: “Η ΓΛΥΚΟΨΙΛUΥΣΑ”. Apart from that inscription, the figures are recognized by their iconography; the customary inscriptions naming the mother and child are lacking.
Mary looks out at the viewer while she leans in towards her child and reaches to embrace him with both hands. Jesus is portrayed full-length and standing on Mary’s lap. He bends towards his mother, pressing his cheek against hers, and reaches to wrap his arm around her.
The composition is set in a wood panel frame that is stained dark brown.
The metal image is stamped “950,” signifying that it is sterling silver.
A label on the back of the panel printed in English, Italian, Greek, French and German reads: “Made in Greece. Sacred image, made of pure silver 950 degrees proof, Byzantine Art. Copy of Sacred Image from the Byzantine Museum, and the face is traditional Agiographie. Free Exportation.” Another sticker says: “23rd International Award for Commercial Prestige. Madrid 1993”.
See http://www.greekshops.com .
The Mother of God, Glykophilousa (or, Glykofilousa), is an Eleousa (tenderness) type. That is, the Mother of God is depicted with gestures that portray the tender and compassionate relationship she shares with Jesus Christ, her son.
Originally, metal coverings were created to protect and embellish fully painted icon panels with openings cut only for selected key features, like faces and hands. However, this panel appears to be typical of the evolution of the craft: only those features that show through the openings cut in the riza have been painted, not the entire panel.