In this 16th century Cretan icon, the Theotokos is praised by Old Testament figures, from the Patriarch Jacob (holding the ladder), to Moses, the Prophets, and finally John the Forerunner, the last of the Old Testament prophets.
The iconographer appears to have inserted himself in the lower right corner (a common feature of Western religious art, which had an influence on the Cretan school of iconography), his hands clasped in prayer.
Beautiful icon and a great inspiration to contemplation.
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