Martin of Tours (Latin: Sanctus Martinus Turonensis; 316 – November 8, 397) was a Bishop of Tours, whose shrine in France became a famous stopping-point for pilgrims on the road to Santiago de Compostela. Around his name much legendary material accrued, and he has become one of the most familiar and recognizable Christian saints. As he was born in what is now Szombathely, Hungary, spent much of his childhood in Pavia, Italy, and lived most of his adult life in France, he is considered a spiritual bridge across Europe.
I drew him back in 2009 – it was not long since I had started painting and drawing again then – with his Roman armour, Roman style short cut hair and his sword.
The last few days I felt a constant urge to paint him anew – and it was fairly clear that he did not want to be portrayed as a Roman soldier. That was, what he had rejected, and he wanted to be shown in simple monk’s clothing and his famous red cloak.
The fire above his head is the orb of fire that many people had seen floating there when he was celebrating mass.
His feast day is 11th November and is celebrated with lantern processions here.