The Theotokos of Vladimir, also known as Our Lady of Vladimir, (Russian: Владимирская Икона Божией Матери) is a medieval Byzantine icon of the Virgin and Child that has been in Russia since soon after it was painted. It is one of the most venerated Orthodox icons. The Theotokos (Greek for “Birth-Giver of God”) is regarded as the holy protectress of Russia. The icon is displayed in the Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow in a former church in the grounds of the museum. Her feast day is June 23rd / July 6th.
The icon is a version of the Eleusa (tenderness) type, with the Christ child snuggling up to his mother’s cheek. Unlike some icons with a special following in religious terms, the high artistic quality of the work is universally agreed, and the Vladimirskaya, as Russians call it, is generally accepted as the finest of the few Byzantine icons surviving from its period, and according to the art historian David Talbot Rice “is admitted by all who have seen it to be one of the most outstanding religious paintings of the world”