Annunciation of the Virgin Mary the Theotokos
Depiction of Mary in Icons

She can be depicted alone but on the iconostasis she is always shown holding the Christ child. Her head is modestly covered and she wears a deep red-wine maphorion that is a broad and hieratic dress that drapes over her shoulders. Partially visible is a headband that binds her hair and falls across forehead, leaving only the tips of the ears exposed. Her face is normally oval. Her eyes are brown and almost almond-shaped and serious yet sweet. Her brows are lightly arched, lively and long and narrow. She has a simple,straight, quiet, sympathetic, lovable, sorrowful but gladdening gaze. She can appear as stern while still being compassionate. She has a Judaic nose that is long and narrow with thin nostrils. She is shown with a small mouth. Her lips are always closed. Her cheeks are pale with a light rosy hew. He neck is inclined humbly and joins the chin in a soft shadow. Her face is hieratic and religious. Her hands are delicate and graceful and fingers long with short narrow nails. She is almost always seen wearing a long blue tunic (chiton) with long sleeves that have cuffs. The outer garment (maphorion) is dark red and bordered with gold trim. We can see three stars on the maphorion. One on each shoulder and one on her forehead. This signifies her perpetual virginity before, during and after birth.

Major icons of Theotokos Explained (pdf)