In icons of this type, Our Lady appears directly facing the viewer with her hands raised in the orans (prayer) position. This is the moment of her conception of Christ at the Annunciation, as He is symbolically depicted within her. He appears as an adult, showing that even at the instant of conception, He was complete in His divinity and humanity. The icons of "the Sign" are celebrated on November 27.
This particular icon was painted in Russia in the 13th century.
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