Angelos Akotantos was a Byzantine Cretan icon painter who lived in the 15th century. According to tradition, icons are not painted; they are written. I remember seeing an article about the Russian Orthodox Church in Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union. One of the nuns in the article was learning to write icons, and a priest was examining her work. Apparently, the true test of an icon is that a person who looks at it should want to pray. I find the tenderness in Mary’s expression very moving.
This is from the Cleveland Museum of Art.
Happy New Year everyone!