Orthodox icon of the Council of Archangels, 14 cent. Bachkovo Monastery in Bulgaria .
Commemorated November 8.
The Archangels Michael and Gabriel, dressed in Byzantine imperial garb and holding a medallion showing the Holy Virgin with the Christ Child, emanate serenity and pensiveness. Although the full-length frontal figures are flatly treated, the faces display a precise and delicate representation of forms and exquisitely drawn details.
The two images show certain difference in the use of color, which could be considered evidence that the icon was created by to painters. When it was found, the icon had been serving as the patron icon of the church of the Holy Archangels at Backovo Monastery in Bulgaria. While the date of the church is disputed, its construction is generally attributed to the thirteenth to fourteenth century.
The composition of this icon, an iconographic type known as the Council of Archangels, usually represents Christ Emmanuel alone in the medallion.In the Backovo icon, however, He appears together with the Virgin Mary, an addition made because She is the patron Saint of Backovo Monastery.