Bucharest – National Museum of Art (Icon of Saint Nicholas by Mihail)

I thought that this looked modern when I first saw it, given that it has something of a cartoony feel to it. Tempera on wood, it was painted by Mihail in 1754 and is a representation of St. Nicholas. I didn’t know this before looking it up, but St. Nicholas is often painted with a codex in his hand, as it is here, and has representations of Jesus and the Virgin Mary behind him, which is what I assume is also happening with this artwork. He’s also portrayed as an Orthodox bishop, as he is here, and often with three gold balls, which isn’t shown here. He was known for giving gifts to the poor and from that he evolved into being effectively better known as Father Christmas.