Eastern Orthodox Icons of the Mother of God “Addition of Mind”
In the Orthodox Church, the iconography of the Mother of God is known to be quite multifaceted and varied. There are many different images of the Virgin Mary, including unusual ones such as the Eastern Orthodox icons “Addition of Mind.” This type of iconography is pretty rare due to some features of the image, which we will discuss in this blog post.
However, to begin with, it is important to mention the remarkable legend of the creation of this extraordinary icon.
“Addition of Mind” icon and the legend of its creation
According to the legend, the icon of the Mother of God “Addition of Mind” was painted by an unknown iconographer who allegedly lived during the reign of Patriarch Nikon. This man led a righteous life and read numerous religious books. Ultimately, after long days of studying texts and pondering which of them were true for a religious person, his mind became clouded.
The man decided to pray to the Mother of God to find a solution to the issue that tormented him, and the miracle happened. He beheld the image of the Virgin Mary. The Mother of God returned the man his mind and told him to paint an icon representing his vision exactly. Thus, the icon “Addition of Mind” was created and got its name after the legend telling the story of the unknown iconographer.
Eastern Orthodox icons of the Mother of God “Addition of Mind”
According to the researchers, the first Eastern Orthodox icons “Addition of Mind” appeared in the 16th century. Such icons are distinguished by an unusual composition and details of the image of the Virgin and Jesus Christ. The holy figures are depicted in the center of the icon, dressed in a phelonion (the priest’s liturgical garment), with royal crowns on their heads. The phelonion is painted with the use of red and gold, richly decorated with precious stones and crosses.
Besides the Mother of God and the Christ Child, the icon “Addition of Mind” depicts Seraphim and angels holding lighted candles that stand out brightly against the dark starry sky. It also features burning lamps shining in each of the upper corners of the image.
Eastern Orthodox icons “Addition of Mind” are important shrines in the Orthodox Church and an excellent example of Christian art. They are believed to help in studying, making important decisions, and healing mental illnesses. Besides, such icons serve as excellent gifts for parents, helping them with the upbringing of their children.