From Iconoclasm to the splendour of the Macedonian and Comnene dynasties
Icon of the Virgin Dexiokratousa
This portable icon is painted with egg-tempera on a curved wooden support, prepared with cloth and plaster. It is fragmentary and quite worn, and its upper curved edge was probably fitted with a frame. The icon depicts the Virgin gazing down at the young Christ whom she holds in her right arm. Her thick eyebrows join over her long aquiline nose, while her down-turned lips and black garment accentuate the intense, melancholy look in her large, almond-shaped eyes. Her austere figure contrasts with the rounder figure of the Child, who wears light-coloured garments with red ornaments. The rendering of the figures and choice of colours place this work in the late Comnene period, when painting was distinguished by its decorative quality and intricate detail.