• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7596

    Icons and Artefacts From The Orthodox World

    9 June 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 147

    ST. MAMAS

    CYPRIOT, 17TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    ST. MAMAS
    CYPRIOT, 17TH CENTURY
    Riding a lion, holding a shepherds crook stick and a small sheep in his left arm, his green tunic complimented by a flowing, red, cape fastened on the chest, wearing matching boots, his youthful features framed by short, disheveled hair, the rayed segment of sky on the top standing for the Divine presence, against a hilly landscape, painted with bold colours, with a dedicatory inscription on the lower left corner
    16¾ x 11 5/8 in. (42. 5 x 29.5 cm)


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    St. Mamas, a Cypriot saint, was a monk living in a cave near the town of Morphou at the West of Cyprus. During the Ottoman occupation of the island, he was arrested by the authorities because he refused to pay tax. As he was led to court by the Ottoman policemen they came across a lion chasing a sheep. Mamas called the lion to stop and come near him. The wild animal did and Mamas rode on the lion's back holding the sheep in his hand, all the way to the court. When the judge witnessed this remarkable sight, he ordered his release and granted him exclusion from taxation. St Mamas gave the sheep as a gift to the judge and since then he has been the patron of the animals. His memory is celebrated on the 2nd of September.

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