Podeas, Introduction

3 November 2011

The podea is a liturgical ornament hung immediately below an icon, a kind of ‘apron’. In texts it is also referred as a ‘poderes skenos’, ‘kraspedon’, or ‘pterygion’ and ‘emprostalion of the holy icons’. It is framed on all four sides by the border, material in a strikingly different colour and has a fringe along the bottom edge. This type of ornament was widely used in Byzantium, and was, moreover, an object of devotion, to which miracles were even ascribed. On the earlier podeas the subjects were geometrical or floral, but later they were drawn, with some freedom, from the iconography of the icon: there is usually a relation of content and form between the painted icon and that embroidered on the podea.