Holy icons are often described as windows on heaven, as images putting the faithful in direct contact with Christ, the Mother of God, and their saints. Renaissance geographers similarly described maps as windows on the world, as telescopes allowing the observer to visualize from above what the human eye could not otherwise grasp in its entirety. In this sense, maps and holy icons share an ontological quality: their ability to make the invisible visible and the physically inaccessible accessible. But what happens when the two merge into a single image? This article examines an understudied category of rare post-Byzantine icons that incorporate maps or act as maps. Drawing on well-established Byzantine iconographies and yet embedding new, noncanonical cartographic elements, these icons, the article shows, blended spiritual and terrestrial concerns, acting as powerful tools in the formation (or reassertion) of local ecclesiastical identities in different centuries and geographical contexts.

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