- Museum number
- Object: St Demetri of Thessaloniki (Solun)
Icon; painted; the warrior saint wears a red mantle over gold armour; his left hand rests upon a shield while his right hand is held up to hold a spear.
Egg tempera on wood.
- Production date
Height: 31.20 centimetres
Thickness: 2.50 centimetres
Width: 26.50 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- St Demetrios of Thessaloniki (Dimitri of Solunskii in Russia) was a soldier and martyr of purportedly Slavonic origin. He was a proconsul of Thessaloniki who was tortured and killed for his adherence to Christianity by the emperor Maximian at dawn on the 26 October 306. A major pilgrimage church dedicated to him was built in Thessaloniki in the 5th century after the transference of his cult from Sirmium. He became immensely popular in the East, where he was called ‘The Great Martyr’, and subsequently in the West, where he is known as Demetrios of Sirmium. One of the pre-eminent martial saints in both the Byzantine and Slavonic worlds his cult spread rapidly in the late 14th century after he reputedly aided the Russian army in their victory over the Mongol horde in the battle of Kulikov in 1380. He was especially venerated by the Russian aristocracy who saw him as their patron. By lesser folk he was regarded as a never-failing help in all needs, especially against evil spirits. For his iconography in general see: LCI, cols. 41–5.
Cormack 2007, 131, no. 73
- Not on display
- Made from a single convex panel with two inserted battens on the reverse; the area around the saint was washed down in the course of unfinished restoration which revealed the preparatory drawings of four unknown saints on the borders and the background of floral ornament. At right, behind the shield, is a spear which was added during the course of restoration instead of the original one in his left hand.
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- See 1998,0605.1 Most of the items catalogued under 1998,0605 were acquired by Sir Frank Roberts’ wife, Cella.
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: IC 74 (Icon Collection number)