some personal views for Catholic readers
I love this icon because it shows Jesus is already in the Blessed Virgin's heart.But what is she standing on? A flying carpet?
No, it is platform "of state", that was a sign of rank in the Byzantine Empire. Here I presume it is also an indication of her "seperateness" or even of her being "full of grace", therefore sinlessness. She stands in the world but is raised above it.
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