The icon of the Virgin Hodegetria can be dated to the end of the 15th or the early years of the 16th century and was probably created in Crete, as can be concluded from the almost identical icons of the Virgin preserved in Athens, the Vatican and Venice, some of which are attributed to the painter Andreas Ritzos (+1491) or were painted according to his model. Apart from his sons, of whom Nicholas (+1503) gained great fame, two other painters worked most often in Ritzos’s studio in Heraklion. Based on the eleven signed works by Ritzos, another forty were recognized. The difficulty in accepting the identification of unsigned icons stems from the frequent practice that it was a collective product of the studio, and it is natural to consider that only the main parts of the icon were executed by the master. Many painters imitated Andreas Ritzos, which is why he was one of the main authors who contributed to the crystallization of certain figures in Cretan art in the 15th century, who were painted even later.

The icon of the Mother of God from the National Museum of Serbia is also distinguished by the fact that she is carrying a child on her right hand, which joins the quite large number of icons of the Right-Handed Mother of God (Dexiokratous), another one of those icons that tradition says was painted by St. Luke. She is also called Evergetida, the Benefactor, a term that refers to her role. The whole group of icons is connected by the same pattern made by puncturing on nimbus. Each workshop used its own tools and therefore produced its own motifs. This decoration originates from Italian painting, but became characteristic of Cretan icons, especially in the second half of the 15th century.

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