Three-Handed Mother of God, handmade Russian icon, Moscow. Late 19th and early 20th Century.
Icon of The Three-Handed Mother of God.
Handmade Russian icon, Moscow, Keiv style. Late 19th and early 20th C. (1886-1900)
The icon is in very good condition, made in four different levels,
First wood, second canvas, third gold leaf and fourth the painting level.
Size: 34x25 cm, 13.3x9.8 inch.
According to tradition, the icon was in the possession of John of Damascus in the early 8th century and it is associated with his miraculous healing around the year 717. According to tradition, while he was serving as Vizier to caliph Al-Walid I, he was falsely accused of treachery and his hand was cut off. The accusation was, allegedly, made by Byzantine Iconoclast emperor Leo the Isaurian, who was indeed a great opponent of St John, and friend of Al-Walid, upon praying in front of an icon of the Theotokos, allegedly, his hand was miraculously restored. In thanksgiving, he had a silver replica of his hand fashioned and attached it to the icon. After this, the icon became known as "three-handed" (Tricherousa), because it had three hands (two of Theotokos plus one more).