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17c Russian Church Icon - Miracle of St. Demetrius of Thessaloniki with Scenes of His Life & Martyrdom

Large church icon dating to the third quarter of the 17th century and depicting the Miracle of St. Demetrius of Thessaloniki with scenes from his life, martyrship, and posthumous miracles. The central panel depicts the miraculous appearance of St. Demetrius in the camp of the infidel Tsar Kaloyan of Bulgaria, who attempted to reestablish ties with the Western church. St. Demetrius is shown on horseback piercing the king with his spear with towers of Thessaloniki shown on the background.

Saint Demetrius of Thessaloniki, also known as the Holy Great-Martyr Demetrios the Myroblyte (meaning 'Myrrh-Streamer') was a Christian martyr of the early 4th century AD. During the Middle Ages, he came to be revered as one of the most important Orthodox military saints, often paired with St. George of Lydda. According to the hagiographies, Demetrius was a young man of senatorial family who became proconsul of the Thessalonica district. He was run through with spears in around 306 AD in Thessaloniki, during the Christian persecutions of Galerian. In the Russian Orthodox Church, the Saturday before the Feast of Saint Demetrius is a memorial day commemorating the soldiers who fell in the Battle of Kulikovo (1380), under the leadership of Demetrius of the Don. This day is known as Demetrius Saturday. Demetrius was a patron saint of the Rurik dynasty from the late 11th century. Izyaslav I of Kyiv (whose Christian name was Dimitry) founded the first East Slavic monastery dedicated to this saint. His feast day is 26 October for Eastern Orthodox Christians. In the Roman Catholic church, he is most commonly called "Demetrius of Sermium" and his memorial falls on 8 October.

Additional Info

  • ID#: 49-70-SSi-35
  • Size: 34 x 28 1⁄2 in. (86.8 x 73.5 cm)
  • Age: ca. 1650-1675
  • Origin: Volga region of Russia
  • Materials: Wood, egg tempera, gesso
  • Price: Price upon request
  • Orthodox Cross

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