Friday, June 19, 2009

Tender Mercy

The icons of the “Tender Mercy” type show the Christ Child pressing his left cheek close to the right cheek of his Mother. Here the Theotokos again represents the Church of Christ, thereby displaying the fullness of love between God and man, a love that can only be achieved within the bosom of the Church, the Mother. Love here bridges heaven and earth, the things of God and the things of men; and this unity is expressed in the touching of the faces and the halos.

The Theotokos is pensive, as she presses her Son to herself. She envisions His way of the cross, His life full of sufferings. The almond-shaped eyes, the narrow nose, and the dark shadows in the face - all these features have a dematerializing effect, stressing the Divine.

(HT: a wonderful page of information about the various types of icons of the Theotokos)

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