Marble icon with Hosios David

Marble icon with Hosios David
  • Code:  ΑΓ 773
  • Type:  Marble icon
  • Chronology:  13th -14th century A.D.
  • Dimensions:  Height 165 cm; width 83 cm.; Thickness 8 cm
  • Materials of Construction:  Μάρμαρο
  • Origin:  Thessaloniki, necropolis

Relief marble icon depicting Hosios David. Within a frame the saint is depicted standing, frontal, with halo and with hands upraised praying. Left and right of the halo there are two squares with the inscription " Ο ΟΣΙΟΣ Π(ΑΤ)ΗΡ ΗΜΩΝ ΔΑΒΗΔ Ο ΘΑΥΜΑΤΟΥΡΓ(ΟΣ)". The saint is represented rigid and frail. The facial features are damaged, however, we can discern a frail person with broad forehead, short hair and beard. He is dressed in monastic clothing: long robe, cloak and distinctive hood worn by the monks of the East, thrown on his shoulders. The background of the marble slab is rough as it was covered with wax and gum, a mixture of wax, marble and paint, a technique particularly popular in the last period of Byzantium.

 Hosios David was born around 450 AD in Mesopotamia and then moved to Thessaloniki where he lived for three years on a almond tree as "stylite", an ascetic method aiming to the spiritual purification. Then he moved to a monastery in the city until his death, around 550 AD, and he was buried there. The icon was probably placed in this monastery of Thessaloniki which was probably destroyed in the 10th century.