Virgin Orans (One Who Prays)
Yaroslavl School, c. 1220
Tretjakov Gallery, Moscow
Written by Paula Howard, OSB
Mount St. Scholastica, November 2001
VIRGIN ORANS, sometimes called The Great Panagia (All-hallowed), is a classic image of Mary with the Child from the Golden age of Russian iconography. The formal balance, graceful lines, solemn expressions, and attitude of intercessory prayer, all suggest the priestly role of Mary in bringing Jesus to the world. Similar icons are often seen above the doorway to the sanctuary in Eastern churches.
Some of this information is from the book Praying with Icons by Jim Forest (Orbis Books, 2008).