Rare Russian icon depicting the Kurskaja, Theotokos of Kursk, Kursk Root Icon of the Sign.
The icon of the Mother of God of Kursk belongs to the iconography of the Mother of God ‘Znamenie’ – literal meaning ‘of the Sign’, one of the main types of icons of the Mother of God.
In the center of this icon the Mother of God is depicted in the classical pose of praying, the so-called ‘Orante’. In front of her a roundel with the Christ Immanuel is depicted. This iconography is an illustration of the foresaying of the prophet Isaiah 7:14: “Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel” .
The icon of the Mother of God is surrounded by the Lord Sabaoth and nine prophets. They are placed in a kind of interwoven tree.
This tree is connected tot he place where the original icon has been found: in the root.
That is also the meaning of the Church Slavonic epitheton ‘Korennaya’, the name by which the icon is also known.
Legend says that the icon was discovered on September, 8 1259 in a wood near Kursk, about 525 kilometres south of Moscow. A hunter found the Znamenie icon in a root. At the moment he lifted up the icon a spring with clear water sprang up. At the place of the apparition of the icon a hermitage was founded with the name ‘Black Hermitage of the Roots’. Many pilgrims travelled to the holy spot and found relieve and recovery through the intercession of the Mother of God. Because of her miraculous effect many copies are made of the icon, all of them with the same miracle-working powers.
18th century, outer border repainted in the 19th century.
Dimensions: 32.5 x 28.5 cm.