Do not Weep for Me Mother

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reference number: RI_183

18th century

tempera on wooden panel

70 x 55 cm

A monumental icon from a church iconostasis depicts a rare subject “Do not Weep for Me Mother”.


The central part of the composition is dominated by a monumental figure of the Virgin Mary with her hands clasped in prayer. Her long hair falls loosely on her shoulders only partly covered by her burgundy red maphorion. In front of her is an open sarcophagus with the dead body of Christ; on the sides are Saints Joseph and Nicodemus bent over Christ’s body and surrounded by angels witnessing the scene. The medallions in the upper corners show Aram Christi or the instruments of Christ’s Passion: a cross, a crown of thorns, a lance, a reed, a chalice, dice and a ladder.


The title “Do not Weep for Me Mother” refers the passage from the liturgy for Holy Saturday composed by Cosmas of Maiuma: “Weep not for me, Mother, seeing in the tomb the son, conceived without seed in the womb,  For I shall arise and be glorified, as God I shall exalt with glory unceasing those who with faith and love magnify you.”

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