The image of the Virgin Mary is seen here with her head tilted to the right, as she holds an open book. On it is written, "Lord, full of grace, Lord Jesus, my Son, my God, hear the prayers of your Mother." The intricate foliage surrounding her is set against an effective background of dark and light blue, which gives an even greater perspective to the low relief of the figure. As a result of the divine revelation by the angel Gabriel (the Annunciation), Mary gave voice to the song of praise and thanksgiving known as the Magnificat, "My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my savior." (Luke I, 39 - 56). On the reverse is the empty cross, with Jerusalem behind, depicted as a medieval Russian town. Both the front and back of this icon appear as if from a page of a precious illuminated manuscript-- turned to bronze, and thus becoming as eternal as the faith for which it was made.