Saint Govdelaas

Saint Govdelaas
  • Code:  ΒΕΙ 962
  • Type:  Icon
  • Chronology:  1655
  • Dimensions:  Height 31.2 cm; Length 24.7 cm; Width 2 cm
  • Materials of Construction:  Wood; egg tempera
  • Origin:  Donation by the Association of the Friends of the Museum of Byzantine Culture and the families A., P., and E Giannoukou and K. Kalfayan

Saint Govdelaas is depicted up to his thighs, dressed in military garments and wearing a crown with feathers. In his right hand he is holding a cross, symbol of his martyrdom. The Greatmartyr Govdelaas was the son of Davorios (310-379),, King of Persia, under whose order he was put to death for having embraced Christianity. According to the inscription, the icon was painted in 1655 by Emmanuel Tzanes, called Bounialis, a hieromonk and writer of liturgies and ecclesiastic hymns that came from Rethymnon, Crete.  The reason for creating the icon was the cure of Frangias, brother of Tzanes, who had also written a Holy Liturgy for Govdelaas, which was decorated with a similar design for the honored Saint. The Liturgy was published in Venice in 1661. The icon has been a model for a series of icons, wall-paintings and engravings. Its painter is considered among the most significant representatives of what is known as Italian-Cretan School.