Skip to product information
1 of 1

Our Lady the Gate of Dawn No. 1 | Orthodox Christian Art Poster

Our Lady the Gate of Dawn No. 1 | Orthodox Christian Art Poster

Regular price $9.99 USD
Regular price Sale price $9.99 USD
Sale Sold out
Shipping calculated at checkout.

Our Lady the Gate of Dawn of Vilnius (Виленская Остробрамська, “Vilenska-Ostrobramska”) is a treasure of Lithuanian Orthodoxy, shared with and venerated by Catholics as well due to the intertwined histories of both churches within Lithuania. It was painted in Kerson in Crimea, then acquired by Algirdas Gediminas, Grand Duke of Lithuania (possibly as a war trophy), who then presented it to his wife Maria of Vitebsk, the only child of the Russian Prince Yaroslav of Vitebsk. Maria was baptized Orthodox and presented the icon to the Holy Trinity Monastery in Vilnius sometime in the 14th century. The monastery is located near the gate of the city, called the Gate of Dawn, which is how the icon acquired its distinctive name.

There are relatively very few icons depicting the Theotokos without her Holy Son. In this case, according to Orthodox Tradition, it's because the icon depicts the Annunciation, the occasion of the Archangel Gabriel visiting the Virgin Mary to announce to her the glad tidings of her essential role in the incarnation of the Son of God: 

And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And the angel being come in, said unto her: Rejoice, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. Who having heard, was troubled at his saying, and thought with herself what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said to her: Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God. Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a son; and thou shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the most High; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father; and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever. And of his kingdom there shall be no end.
And Mary said to the angel: How shall this be done, because I know not man? And the angel answering, said to her: The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And behold thy cousin Elizabeth, she also hath conceived a son in her old age; and this is the sixth month with her that is called barren: Because no word shall be impossible with God. (Luke 1:26–37)

The expression of humble acquiescence on her face, turned down and away from the glory of the Lord’s messenger, together with the placement of her hands in humble acceptance, demonstrate the intention to depict the exact moment when, by way of reply to the archangel’s invitation, Mary said:

Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word. (Luke 1:38)

The cosmological importance of the Incarnation of Christ is reflected in the later vision of St John the Theologian (who was given to Mary as her adopted son by Christ while He hung on the cross), as recorded in his Apocalypse:

And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars. (Revelation 12:1)

It’s clear the author of this icon had these verses in mind, in addition to those of the Annunciation, when we note the Sun with twelve stars around the holy head of the Theotokos, as well as the moon beneath her. The icon depicts in symbolic language the ultimate eschatological significance of the conception of Our Lord, thus visually connecting the Omega with His Alpha via His mother, the “woman clothed with the sun,” the Most Holy Queen of Heaven.

For more information:

Subscribe to product updates to be notified when new products are added!


Our posters are made in the USA with environmentally-friendly manufacturing processes, and are printed on 176 gsm (65 lb) white cardstock. 

View full details

Product Update Emails

Subscribe to receive emails about products added to our store.