"Saint Florian" Engine Panel Painting

Description
In the nineteenth century, volunteer fire companies often commissioned paintings to decorate their hand-pumped fire engines for parades, competitions, and community events. Sometimes framed with elaborate carvings, they adorned the tall air chamber located at the middle or rear of a pumper. The paintings would often feature patriotic, heroic, or allegorical images to associate the volunteer companies with these lofty ideals.
The knight pictured is Saint Florian, who is associated with protection from the destructive forces of fire and water. Florian was a Roman guard under Emperor Diocletian who converted to Christianity. He was drowned when he refused to follow the order to persecute fellow Christians. The painting depicts Florian in his Roman garb putting out a fire with a single bucket of water, a common motif in depictions of the saint.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
painting, engine panel
date made
19th century
maker
unknown
Physical Description
tin (overall material)
oil paint (image material)
Measurements
overall: 25 in x 27 7/8 in; 63.5 cm x 70.8025 cm
ID Number
2005.0233.0323
accession number
2005.0233
catalog number
2005.0233.0323
subject
Work
Art
Cultures & Communities
Firefighting Collection
Engine Panel Paintings
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Fire Fighting and Law Enforcement
Engine Panel Paintings
Firefighting Collection
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of CIGNA Museum and Art Collection

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