St. Nicholas of Bari with St. Agatha and a Martyr Saint

Church of St. Nicholas, Koločep Island, Croatia

The words on the open pages of the book are Pax vobis nolite timere pro salute enim vestra misit me DOMINUS ante vos. Sum NICOLAUS ego vobiscum qui modo dego at me verum experiamini, "Peace to you, be not afraid. The Lord has sent me to you for your salvation. I am Nicholas. I will pass a little time with you and truly you will get to know me."

Despite the Latin in the book, the painting is clearly influenced by Byzantine models. The gold balls so familiar in the West are absent, and like Eastern icons of Nicholas, the saint is wearing an omphorion with crosses over his shoulders.

Saint Agatha is identified by the platter with breasts that she holds in her right hand. Like her, the youth on the right holds a martyr's palm. The book in his right hand and the dog at his feet are probably attributes meant to identify him. He has a page-boy haircut like the youthful martyr St. Ansanus, but I know of no other images in which Ansanus has a dog, and no dog is mentioned in the extensive lessons that recount his life and death in the Sienese breviary (Baluze, IV, 60-67).

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Photographed at the church by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.