The Mother of God “The Joy of All Who Sorrow”


Through centuries of Russia’s turbulent history, the image of the Virgin “The Joy of All Who Sorrow” has been a popular iconographic type with Orthodox believers. The icon’s theology emphasizes the ability of the Mother of God to bring human sorrows into her Son’s presence. The golden crown on Mary’s head and the clouds in the background indicate that she is the Queen of Heaven. She extends a crown to the poorer of the two worshippers while the richly dressed worshipper kneels before her. The inscription over their heads reads, “These are the righteous people.” Here, the traditional theme is rendered in a sensuous and lavish baroque style that was increasingly prevalent in 18th century Russian religious art.