Hodegetria means ‚Äòthe guide‚Äô or 'she who shows the way'. The Virgin holds the Christ-child on her left arm presenting him to the world and drawing our attention to him by the gesture of her right hand. Historically, the type can be traced to Byzantium before Iconoclasm (8th c.) while Tradition traces the image back to the story of St Luke painting Mary in person. The seated Christ in turn raises his right hand in blessing, looking directly at the viewer. In his left hand he holds a scroll. The Virgin gazes at the viewer as she holds the child Christ seated on her left arm.. The most venerated icon of the Hodegetria type, regarded as the original, was displayed in the Monastery of the Panaghia Hodegetria in Constantinople, which was built especially to contain it. One commentator notes that 'this icon was removed from the church every Tuesday and carried in procession through the streets, attended by large crowds hoping for miraculous cures.'[See footnote 1] This highlights the significance and popularity of this iconography in the Orthodox world. Very fine condition.