Saint Nick for 2017

I don’t have just one favourite photo for 2017; I have many of them from a memorial holiday last September to Western Macedonia and Epirus. But, not wanting to go down the route of showing a slew of holiday snaps, I chose one. Technically one plus a close-up. It celebrates both that Northern Greek holiday and the current holiday season, It is a photograph of an icon that caught my eye for its simplicity and subtle colours. The Kastoria Byzantine Museum had also done a great job with the lighting and the mounting on a neutral dark grey background, designed to show the rough wood and contrasting and scared gesso painting at its best.

It depicts the friendly face of the white haired and bearded Ayios Nikolaos or Saint Nicolas, the patron of sailors, merchants, archers, repentant thieves, children, brewers, pawnbrokers and students. He was also noted for his numerous miracles and for his habit of secretly giving gifts to those most in need.

He is the Dutch Sint-Nicolaas otherwise known as Sinterklaas, the word from which we get our English Santa Claus.

Wishing a very happy holidays to all!

2017 Favorites: The Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge.

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See my Photo Album: Greece for more photographic posts from Western Macedonia and Epirus.



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    • Merry Christmas to you too! I fell in love with this icon when we were visiting Kastoria in Western Macedonia. The Byzantine Museum in the town is fabulous and has many wonderful icons – worth a visit. All the best for 2018!


  2. Happy Christmas Debi. Iconography is a styluzed art style which appeals to me much more than some of the signicant religious art of say the renaissance. It’s amazing the humble but historic pieces that are still in situ


    • Happy Christmas to you too Sandra. I do love these Byzantine icons and it is wonderful to see them and wall frescos still in the old churches, which we were lucky to see in a few of the town’s older churches. This one, however, is in the Kastoria Byzantine Museum which houses some of the more significant pieces from the 75 Byzantine (and post-Byzantine) churches of the town. They date from the 12th to the 17th century. I agree – these stylised pieces are more appealing that polished Renaissance religious art.


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