Jolly Old St. Nick

“So be Good for Goodness’ Sake: St. Nicholas in Art and Legend” is the topic of a lecture at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, December 6, at the Daura Gallery to celebrate the annual Feast of St. Nicholas. The talk will include an overview of imagery and iconography informed by St. Nicholas’ life and legend by Dr. William A. McIntosh, retired professor of English and art history at the United States Military Academy.

Among the Early Christian fathers, St. Nicholas of Patara, Myra, and Bari (c. 270-343?) is exceptional for his broad geographical reach, varied miraculous acts, and enduring popular appeal. Prominent in ecclesiastical art and liturgy of both the east and west from the middle ages onward, he appears in the avuncular guise of St. Nick by the second half of the nineteenth century, and then is recast as Santa Claus in the mid-twentieth.

Several works by Ambrogio Lorenzetti, Gentile da Fabriano, Fra Angelico, the Limbourg Brothers, Jean Poyer, and Jan Steen will be discussed.