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Saint George on Medieval Stove Tiles from Transylvania, Moldavia and Wallachia: An Iconographical Approach

Saint George on Medieval Stove Tiles from Transylvania, Moldavia and Wallachia: An Iconographical Approach

Gruia, Ana Maria

Studia Patzinaka, 3, 2006, pp. 7-48

Abstract

If there is one preferred hero on medieval stove tiles, than that is definitely Saint George. Out of all the hundreds images depicted on stove tiles throughout Central and Eastern Europe, George is the most popular character. No great wonder, considering the dimensions of his cult in the late Middle Ages, in both western and eastern traditions. What is interesting is that the military saint is only represented on stove tiles in the episode of slaying the dragon, although in other artistic fields he is also represented during the lengthy narrative of his martyrdom, in an iconic manner, as a standing or mounted saint or in the context of his miracles. As everywhere else, in Transylvania, Moldavia and Wallachia of the late Middle Ages, the stove tiles depict George as dragonslayer. The tiles with this iconography form a consistent group, allowing the researcher to address complex questions of iconography, social, religious and ethnic distributions, or of economic aspects related to the production and copying of stove tiles.

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