An Attractive Greek Icon of Saint George Slaying the Dragon

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17th century, the warrior Saint with his gold spangled scarlet military cloak flying behind him, on a prancing white horse; seated behind him is a servant boy wearing a kaftan with a towel across one shoulder, holding a pitcher. The inclusion of the boy commemorates an incident when a captured Christian youth from Mytilene enslaved to a Muslim potentate was serving his master, and lamenting his fate, called upon his patron Saint George, whereupon the Saint appeared on a white charger, and the youth, still clutching his pitcher, climbed behind his hero, and was carried off and restored to his joyful parents (Aufauser, 1913, pp. 100-103.) Parallels for the pitcher can be found in Ottoman metalwork and ceramics of the 17th century; the boys costume is of a type worn throughout the Orthodox and Islamic East, from Moscow in the north to Sinai in the south. It is probable that the prototype of this icon is based on a panel by the Cretan icon painter Angelos of the first half of the 15th century (Vassilakis Mavrakakes, 1981, pp. 290-298.)