Saint George as Patron of Two Children (02460)
Date: 1919 - 1922
Dimensions (cm): 200 x 94
Provenance: Copy of a mosaic from St Demetrios, Thessaloniki
Creator: Nikolaos Ferekeidis
St George (formerly identified as St Demetrios) is depicted full length and frontal between two children. He is resting a protective hand on the shoulder of one of them. The original mosaic decorates the church of St Demetrios in Thessaloniki and is dated to the 7th century. It is one of the copies of the mosaics and wall-paintings in the church created by Nikolaos Ferekeidis (1862-1929) between 1919 and 1922. He was probably commissioned and worked under the supervision of George Sotiriou, who was in charge of the reconstruction work then being carried out in the church, which had been severely damaged in a fire in 1917. When Sotiriou became Director of the Byzantine Museum he arranged for the Museum to buy all Ferekeidis s copies from him. This copy of St George reproduces the Byzantine version most faithfully. Indeed the artist, though he was using the technique of oil on canvas, depicted the mosaic
tesserae of his model one by one. This absolutely faithful copying, which characterizes all the copies he made of scenes from St Demetrios in the years immediately after the fire, perhaps
indicates Sotiriou s desire to record accurately those parts of the church s decorative programme, whose future appeared uncertain at the time.