The emperor and empress present gifts to the Virgin and Child; the emperor offers a purse of money while the empress holds a scroll. The seventeen-year-old Alexios Komnenos is pictured on the pilaster next to John, Christ, and Irene. The expression of his face is tense. The imperial couple stands in a frontal position. It is only the sidelong glance of Irene’s eyes and in the slight turn of John’s head that suggest that the donors may be deferring to the Virgin and Child. The imperial figures are almost the same height as Mary, and consequently the image accords a high status to the donors.
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