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Saint George with Scenes (XIXc) Icon - S551

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This early 19th century Greek icon depicts the life and martyrdom of Saint George. It was painted in 1823, in the midst of the Greek war of independence, and surely brought strength and inspiration to those who viewed it.

George was a soldier of noble birth from Cappadocia, and was put to death under Emperor Diocletian at Nicomedia on 23 April 303.

The center icon depicts the most famous episode from the life of the saint — his legendary slaying of the dragon. St George once visited a city named Selem, near which lived a dragon. The monster had to be fed daily with one of the citizens, drawn by lot. The day George arrived, the lot had fallen to the king’s daughter. Resolved that she should not die, the saint went out and killed the dragon. The princess was saved and the people of Selem converted to Christianity.

The scenes within the circles at the bottom depicts the many ways in which Saint George suffered on the way to his martyrdom.

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