Most Famous and Precious Orthodox Icons

Most Famous and Precious Orthodox Icons

The Russian Orthodox Church is more than one thousand years old. During this period, millions of hand-painted Orthodox icons were created and, unfortunately, lost. Meanwhile, many sacred religious icons that have survived over the years now play an important role in lives of Christians. Moreover, some of them are endowed with miraculous properties. For instance, Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, and other Orthodox people, cherish the following icons:

1. Our Lady of Kazan (also known as Theotokos of Kazan) is one of the most significant antique Russian icons. It was discovered in Kazan in 1579. Appearance and disappearance of this Orthodox icon are shrouded in mystery and legends. Today, you can find lots of copies of this unique religious icon. Their prices depend on quality, age, material, and other factors.

2. The Theotokos of Vladimir (also called Virgin of Vladimir, Vladimir Mother of God, and Our Lady of Vladimir) is one of the most venerated hand-painted Orthodox icons. This sacred image was given as a present to Prince Mstislav by the patriarch of Constantinople Luke Hrisoverga in the early 12th century. Nowadays, this exceptional piece of Eastern Orthodox Church icons can be found in the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow.

3. Znа́meniye or Our Lady of the Sign (Novgorod) is an orans style Orthodox icon dated to the first half of the 12th century. The holy image symbolizes the pregnancy of the Virgin, showing Our Lady with raised hands and the figure of the holy infant. Moreover, it is two-sided. Its back side shows Saint Anne and Saint Joachim in praying. Since 1992, this gorgeous representative of Orthodox Christian icons can be seen in the Cathedral of St. Sophia.

4. The Trinity is a famous Orthodox icon created in the 15th century by a renowned Russian iconographer Andrei Rublev. The sacred image, painted on a vertical board, depicts three angels sitting at a table. This Russian Orthodox icon was renewed several times, and for today, it has many changes as compared to the original depiction. Like the Theotokos of Vladimir, it is placed in the State Tretyakov Gallery.

5. Our Lady of the Don was created in the 14th century by Theophanes the Greek. It is painted in the Eleusa style and displays Virgin Mary with the infant Jesus Christ. This representative of Eastern Orthodox iconography was presented to the Prince Dmitry Donskoy by Don Cossacks before the Kulikov battle. It is currently held in the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow.

6. The Panagia Portaitissa or the Iviron Theotokos is another example of eastern Orthodox icons found in the Georgian Iviron monastery in Greece. The original item is still placed in the monastery. Meanwhile, there are many famous copies of this painting in the world. One of them was brought from Afon to Moscow in 1669. After the October Revolution in Russia, the fate of the Iviron Orthodox icon is unknown.

7. The Theotokos of Tikhvin is one more celebrated Orthodox Christian icon. It appeared in 1383 in Russia near Tikhvin. This holy image is related to the Odigitria icons type. Nowadays, it is kept in the Tikhvin Assumption Monastery.

Such abundance of unique icons suggests that Russia has many famous and valuable Orthodox relics; some of them are presented online. If you want to learn more about these holy images, please check our site.