Leonardo Corona, St. Nicholas Consecrated Bishop

1590
Oil
Church of San Giovanni Elemosynario, Venice

The Golden Legend tells the story of Nicholas's consecration. A number of bishops had gathered to decide who would succeed the Bishop of Myra. Their leader was told in a dream to consecrate the first man who arrived at the church the next morning; his name would be Nicholas. In the morning our Nicholas was indeed the first to arrive, and he was duly consecrated.

In the painting the seated bishop places a mitre on Nicholas's head while the bishop on the left waits with the crozier that Nicholas will also receive as an emblem of his episcopal authority. (The left and right bishops hold their own croziers in their left hands.)

The conventional three gold balls sit on a closed book on the step above the one where St. Nicholas is kneeling. At his left two small loaves sit on what looks like a large paten; they could refer to the Eucharist, or to the miracle of the wheat recounted in the Golden Legend. The woman and child in the lower right corner of the painting represent the many sick children that parents brought to St. Nicholas in the legends. See, for example, Falcone, second page 16 et seqq.

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