Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Saturday, 23 April 2016

St George

John Dillon has posted on the Medieval Religion discussion group the following account of St George and his depiction in art:

We know nothing about the historical George.  Lydda (also Diospolis; later also Georgioupolis) in Palestine is now Lod in Israel.  George's cult seems to have arisen there at some time between the early fourth century and the early sixth.  This page on Lod has a good survey on George's cult there over the centuries:
And the section on Lod on this page (toward bottom) has an illustrated introduction to the sequence of churches on the site:

Some period-pertinent images of St. George of Lydda:

a) as depicted (lower register at right, flanking the BVM and Christ Child; at left, St. Theodore of Amasea) in a sixth-century encaustic icon in the Holy Monastery of the God-trodden Mount Sinai in St. Catherine (South Sinai governorate):


b) as portrayed in relief (at left; at right, St. Eustachius / Eustathius) on a wing of the tenth-century Harbaville Triptych in the Musée du Louvre in Paris:


c) as portrayed in relief in an eleventh-century steatite icon in the Vatopedi Monastery at Mount Athos:


d) as depicted in the eleventh-century frescoes of the church of Agios Georgios Diasoritis near Chalki on Naxos:

e) as depicted in an earlier twelfth-century Novgorod School icon (1130s-1140s) in the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow:
NB: Three pages of expandable views of many other twelfth- to sixteenth-century Russian icons of George begin here:

f) as portrayed in high relief (slaying the dragon) by Nicholaus in the lunette of the central portal of the earlier twelfth-century facade (1135) of the the basilica cattedrale di San Giorgio in Ferrara:


g) as depicted (in the roundel at top centre) in the mid-twelfth-century mosaics in the church of Santa Maria dell'Ammiraglio (a.k.a. chiesa della Martorana) in Palermo:

h) as depicted (slaying the dragon) in the later twelfth-century frescoes (betw. 1176 and 1200) in the church of St. George in Staraya Ladoga in Russia's Leningrad oblast:

i) as depicted in a probably late twelfth-century votive painting, funded by a horse tamer, in the narthex of the church of the Panagia Phorbiotissa at Asinou (Nicosia prefecture) in the Republic of Cyprus:


NB: This image has also been dated to the repainting of the narthex in 1332/1333.

j) as depicted on a seemingly earlier to mid-thirteenth-century map of part of the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean (c.1234-1266; Lyon, Bibliothèque municipale, ms. 175, sheet 4:

k) as depicted (the torture of the wheel of swords) in a later thirteenth-century Cistercian psalter (c. 1260; Besançon, Bibliothèques municipales, ms. 54, fol. 20r):


l) as twice depicted in the later thirteenth-century frescoes (either c.1263-1270 or slightly later) in the chapel of St. George in the monastery church of the Holy Trinity at Sopoćani (Raška dist.) in Serbia:
1) martyrdom:
2) disarticulation of his relics:

m) as depicted in the later thirteenth-century frescoes (either c.1263-1270 or slightly later) in the chapel of St. Symeon Nemanja in the monastery church of the Holy Trinity at Sopoćani (Raška dist.) in Serbia:
Detail view:

n) as depicted (the torture of the wheel of swords) in a late thirteenth-century copy of French origin of the Legenda aurea (San Marino, CA, Huntington Library, ms. HM 3027, fol. 49r):

o) as depicted by Eutychios and Michael Astrapas in the late thirteenth-century frescoes (c.1295) in the church of the Peribleptos (now Sv. Kliment Ohridski) in Ohrid:


Detail view:

p) as depicted (with the Princess of Trebizond) in a fourteenth-century wall painting in the church of All Saints in Little Kimble (Bucks):

 St. George & the Princess, Little Kimble (100KB)
The link has more details about the painting

q) as depicted (upper register; lower register: Sts. John of Damascus and Ephraem the Syrian) in an earlier fourteenth-century panel painting in the Holy Monastery of the God-trodden Mount Sinai in St. Catherine (South Sinai governorate):

r) as depicted in the earlier fourteenth-century frescoes (between 1313 and 1318; conservation work in 1968) by Michael Astrapas and Eutychios in the church of St. George at Staro Nagoričane in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia:


Detail view:

s) as depicted in the earlier fourteenth-century frescoes (between 1315 and 1321) in the parekklesion of the Chora church in Istanbul:
Detail view:

t) as depicted (two scenes: the torture of the wheel of swords; his execution) in an earlier fourteenth-century copy of the Legenda aurea in its French-language version by Jean de Vignay (c.1326-1350; Paris, BnF, ms. Français 185, fol. 90r):

u) as depicted (at left: casting down idols; at right: slaying the dragon) in the earlier fourteenth-century frescoes (between 1335 and 1350) in the chapel of St. George in the church of the Holy Ascension at the Visoki Dečani monastery near Peć in, depending on one's view of recent events, the Republic of Kosovo or Serbia's Kosovo province:


Two pages of expandable views of the cycle of St. George in this chapel start here:

v) as depicted by Vitale da Bologna in a mid-fourteenth-century fresco in the Pinacoteca nazionale di Bologna:


w) as depicted (slaying the dragon) in a mid-fourteenth-century copy, from the workshop of Richard and Jeanne de Montbaston, of the Legenda aurea in its French-language version by Jean de Vignay (1348; Paris, BnF, ms. Français 241, fol. 101v):

x) as depicted (slaying the dragon, with a capable assist by his intrepid steed) by Giovanni di Benedetto and workshop in a late fourteenth-century Franciscan missal of Milanese origin (ca. 1385-1390; Paris, BnF, ms. Latin 757, fol. 327v):

y) as depicted (slaying the dragon) by the Master of 1388 (attrib.) in the later fourteenth-century frescoes in the chiesa di San Giorgio in Lemine at Almenno San Salvatore (BG) in Lombardy:


z) as depicted (slaying the dragon) in a late fourteenth-century copy of the Legenda aurea in its French-language version by Jean de Vignay (1382; London, BL, Royal MS 19 B XVII, fol. 109r):


aa) as depicted (slaying the dragon) in a panel of an earlier fifteenth-century altarpiece (c. 1420) from Valencia in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London:

bb) as depicted (hearing the prayers of the Duke of Bedford) in the earlier fifteenth-century Bedford Hours (c. 1423; London, BL, Add. MS 18850, fol. 256v):

cc) as depicted (with the princess of Trebizond) in an earlier fifteenth-century fresco (late 1430s), variously ascribed to Pisanello or to his collaborator Gentile da Fabriano, in the cappella Pellegrini in Verona's chiesa di Sant'Anastasia:


Numerous detail views are accessible from here:

dd) as depicted (slaying the dragon) by the Master of Catherine of Cleves in an earlier fifteenth-century prayer book from Utrecht (1438; Den Haag, Museum Meermanno, cod. 10 F 1, fol. 210v):

ee) as depicted (slaying the dragon) by Jost Haller in a detail of a painting from his mid-fifteenth-century Tempelhof Altarpiece (c.1445) in the Musée Unterlinden in Colmar:


The painting as a whole:


ff) as depicted in grisaille (slaying the dragon) by Jean le Tavernier in the mid-fifteenth-century Hours of Philip of Burgundy (c. 1451-1460; Den Haag, KB, ms. 76 F 2, fol. 258v):

gg) as depicted (slaying the dragon) by Carlo Crivelli in a panel painting from his dismembered later fifteenth-century Porta San Giorgio altarpiece (1470) in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston:


hh) as depicted (at center, slaying the dragon) in a later fifteenth-century glass window (1470) in the St. Laurentiuskirche in Usingen (Lkr. Hochtaunuskreis) in Hessen:


Detail view:

ii) as depicted (slaying the dragon) in a late fifteenth-century copy (c. 1480-1490) of the Legenda aurea in its French-language version by Jean de Vignay (Paris, BnF, ms. Français 244, fol. 125v):


jj) as portrayed (slaying the dragon) by Jan Mertens in a late fifteenth-century partly gilt wooden sculpture (1486) in the Sint-Leonarduskerk in Zoutleeuw (Vlaams-Brabant):

Detail view:

kk) as portrayed by Andrea della Robbia in a late fifteenth-century polychrome ceramic relief (1495) in the pieve di San Giorgio at Brancoli (LU) in Tuscany:


ll) as depicted (slaying the dragon) in the early sixteenth-century fresco cycle devoted to him (1507) in the earlier fifteenth-century Nibe kirke in Nibe (Aalborg Kommune) in Nordjylland:


The remainder of the cycle:

mm) as depicted (at right; at left, St. Eustachius / Eustathius) by Hans Süss of Kulmbach in an early sixteenth-century pen-and-ink drawing (c. 1511) in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York:

nn) as portrayed in relief (second from left) on the early sixteenth-century tomb of the Kurfürstin Anna (1512) in the Münster St. Marien und Jakobus in Heilsbronn (Lkr. Ansbach) in Bavaria:


Madeleine Gray added these notes and images of the wall painting of St George at Llancarfon in south Wales:

There are photos on http://www.walesonline.co.uk/lifestyle/nostalgia/welsh-history-month-lost-treasures-7852432 and Ellie Pridgeon;s wallpaintings web site at https://medievalwallpaintings.wordpress.com/2013/12/26/project-update-st-cadocs-church-llancarfan-vale-of-glamorgan/ ; the church web site leads to some rather out of date interpretative material at http://www.stcadocs.org.uk/en/home.html (conservation has uncovered a lot more since that photo was talen): and there's a short film with rather basic commentary at http://www.bbc.co.uk

Rev.Gordon Plumb added these images of English medieval stained glass depictions of St George:

Brinsop, St George, Herefordshire, east window, 2b, St George, 1st half 14thc:

Gloucester Cathedral, East window, figure on right, c.1350-60:

Long Sutton, St Mary, Lincolnshire, sVI, 2b-3b, c.1380-90:

Trull, All Saints, Somerset, sII, 2c, 15thc:

Wells Cathedral,NII, 2b-3b:

York Minster, nXVII, 2a, 15thc.:

Stanford-on-Avon, St Nicholas, Northamptonshire, sVI, 2a, 15thc.:

Oxford, Merton College, West window, 15thc.:

St Winnow, St Winnow, Cornwall, sII, 5a-7a, 15thc.:

York Minster, nXX, lower part of George and dragon, 15thc.:

Fairford, St Mary, Gloucestershire, nVIII, B2 c.1500-1515:

Barton upon Humber, St Peter (in store with English Heritage in York):

Bowness-on-Windermere, St Martin, Cumbria, East window, 2b-4b, 15thc.:

Doddiscombsleigh, St Michael, Devon, nIV, 2b, 15thc.:

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