This beautiful icon was painted in Constantinople in the mid-to-late 13th century. The Theotokos looks to her Son, Jesus, who gives a blessing with His right hand, and whose stance evokes the idea of a philosopher. This is a sign of His teachings, and it is a feature shared with icons of Christ teaching in the temple.
It is a type of the "Guide" (Hodegetria) icon genre, as the Theotokos gestures with her hand, guiding the viewer to her Son. Icons of this family were important in the life of Constantinople, as regular icon processions took place throughout the city with the icon of the Theotokos featured prominently.