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Wall mosaic with Saint Demetrios in supplication

The saint is depicted full length, in front of a gold niche of a building or a ciborium decorated with blue clam. He is praying with his hand raised to the sky. He wears an official dignitary uniform with luxurious gold embroidered cloak and tunic that closes at the neck with embroidery made of precious stones. To the left, up to the saint’s waist there is a representation of a child with rich clothing, his arm raised in a prayer gesture. Next to the saint’s left palm, the head of a male figure is distinguished. The synthesis was probably a dedication to the saint for gratitude or praying for help it is an offering made by a rich faithful person to the church.

The position of the figures below or in front of the niches was quite common during the entire early Christian period (4th-7th cent.). This is the way honor was rendered to these devine persons and also to the persons of the imperial court. The mosaic decorated the wall in the small northern colonnade in the church of Saint Demetrios. Similar devotional character had also all the compositions decorating the same wall. The rest of the mosaics on the northern colonnade were destroyed almost entirely during the fire of 1917.



ΒΨ 29Α


Mosaic detached


5th-6th c.


Height 98 cm., width 83 cm.

Material of Construction

Glass tesserae on plaster


Thessaloniki, church of Hagios Dimitrios