Saint Ladislas on Stove Tiles

Saint Ladislas on Stove Tiles

By Ana Maria Gruia

Studia Patzinaka, 2, 2006

Abstract: Religious images and especially the saints are very frequent as stove tiledecoration in the central and later Middle Ages. Besides very popular saints who appear on a great number of tiles, there are also specific saints with a restricted area of popularity. Ladislas is such a case, his image on tiles being restricted to (and around) the medieval Kingdom of Hungary. This article will take into consideration all the tiles depicting Saint Ladislas (to the best of my knowledge and to the state of publication of such items). As starting point I use here the related research developed in my MA thesis which took into consideration the tiles decorated with Saint George, Saint Ladislas, Saint Demetrios and Archangel Michael in present-day Transylvania and Moldavia, comparing the two provinces mainly through an iconographical perspective. The conclusions showed that George and Ladislas were the most popular knightly saints on stove tiles, but that there was a difference in such depictions: in Transylvania they were more “knightly”, with clear details of arms and armor, while in Moldavia they were more “saintly”, with halos, Byzantine type mantles, cross-ended weapons and blessed by the dextra Domini. In the thesis I have also shown that in the Romanian areas no stoves with exclusively knightly compositions can be reconstructed. In the same time the social, religious and ethnic distributions of tiles with knightly saints do not show any clear patterns, as far as one can see from the excavated and published material. 


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