Saint Nicholas

Byzantine10th century (Medieval)

The Walters Art Museum

The Walters Art Museum

This ceramic icon shows Saint Nicholas, framed by vine scrolls, raising his right hand in blessing and holding the Gospels in his left hand, which is covered as a sign of respect. This ceramic tile is one of the finest in the Walters collection, which includes over 1,000 fragments, the largest such group outside of Turkey. Although of unknown origin, this group of tiles is similar to ones known to have been made in Constantinople (now Istanbul). The tiles were most likely attached to a church wall as part of a frieze containing saint portraits and ornamented (non-iconic) pieces. Two further tiles in the museum belong to the same series as this one and carry images of Saint James (Walters 48.2086.9) and Saint Parascheve (?) (Walters 48.2086.14).

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  • Title: Saint Nicholas
  • Date Created: 10th century (Medieval)
  • Physical Dimensions: w16.4 x h16.7 x d0.8 cm
  • Type: ceramic tiles; icons
  • Rights: Partial museum purchase with funds provided by the S. & A. P. Fund, 1956 and partial gift of Mr. Robert E. Hecht, Jr., 1957, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/
  • External Link: The Walters Art Museum
  • Medium: ceramic with glaze
  • Provenance: Nikos Avgheris, Istanbul, ca. 1950, by purchase; Robert E. Hecht, Ruxton, Maryland, 1956, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1956, by purchase.
  • Place of Origin: Constantinople (present-day Istanbul, Turkey)
  • ExhibitionHistory: To Arrest the Ravages of Time: Caring for Art at the Walters. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1996; The Glory of Byzantium. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. 1997; Byzantium, 330-1453. Royal Academy of Arts, London. 2008
  • Artist: Byzantine