Mythology of ornaments or design

For a game, I need a patron saint, demigod, or deity that would make a good subject for a shrine dedicated to interior decoration.

The internet has suggested St. Benedict Biscop/Luke/Michael and Minerva. I’m not content with these choices. It’s a fantasy game so I could just make something up. But are there any religious supernatural figures more closely aligned to the subject of decoration or ornamentation that would make a good shrine?


Strictly aniconic religious groups get creative about ornamentation because the human form is off the menu; Islam is the best-known example of this in the Western world, although aniconic and iconoclastic Christians have certainly existed throughout history, and not all Muslims have been aniconic in the slightest, with a number of Islamic cultures having no problems with depicting Muhammad.

St Ann is patron saint of cabinet makers and homemakers

St. Bernward, also called Bernward of Hildesheim, is the patron saint of Architects, Goldsmiths, Painters & Sculptors.

St. Benedict Biscop is the patron saint of the Arts: Painters & Musicians

I’d recommend Bernward, FYI. He personally made somecool shit.

I didn’t know these guys, nor hagiography in general, but it’s interesting that there is/must be a sacred categorization going on: St. Cecilia, as is fairly well known as far as these things go, is the Saint “of” music.

Tricky protocol when you meet her and St. Bernward in Heaven at the same time. On top of trying not to mispronounce his name.

Which makes me think there must be a, or many, strictly Christian philosophies of category.

Cx to above:
…Tricky protocol when you meet her and St. [del] Bernward[/del] Benedict Biscop in Heaven at the same time…

St. Sebastian was known to sport arrows. I think that’s a definite design statement. :wink:

And her son-in-law of carpenters and cabinetmakers as well.

What’s the problem with Luke? Other patrons of painters include Fra Angelico (the prerrenacentist painter) and St Lazarus of Constantinople aka St Lazarus the Iconographer. In Luke’s case, he didn’t draw per se but he “painted very vivid descriptions”. And if you want to look outside Christianity, sometimes I think Hermes got attributed everything except fertility… you could base something off him (from “patron of symbols” to “patron of rows of symbols” there isn’t that much of a jump).

You know, to the Romans the Household Gods were the lares. I could easily see them being in charge of household ornamentation, if you want to get away from Catholic saints.

Things get exotic elsewhere. The characteristic demon-face over doorways in India is Kirtimukkha, and the face is often identified with the demon Rahu. They have myths which explain how they came to be disembodied heads (I retell these in my book Medusa, but you can look them up on the internet)

The dismbodied head of Medusa is similarly used as a decorative element on antefixes on the roof, but also on doorknobs and the tops of vases. In the garden, medusa heads frequently showed up on swinging Oscilla. There’s a parallel here with the Indian Kirtimukkha

I observe also that the two-headed god Janus was placed over doorways, looking both inward and outward. There’s another potential parallel there.
So you could have Medusa or Janus as well as Lares being contained in/responsible for particular kinds of ornamentation in Roman and some Greek homes, or you could have Rahu or Kirtimukkha in Indian ones. There are other similar figures elsewhere in the world.

Dionysus, god of revelry and excess. Ornamentation is, after all, always excessive.

I’m actually really annoyed that the muses are never associated with visual arts or design. It’s all various kinds of music, poetry, epic and history. Seriously, Greeks, you don’t think architects, painters, sculptors (and, for that matter, interior decorators) are divinely inspired, too? 'Cause I’ve met a few, and to me it’s obvious that they are.

The whole muse-ology thing needs a do-over.

What saints are patrons of can be of any degree of specificity whatsoever, and a lot of it is just by general consensus, not by official proclamation. One could fairly say, for instance, that Patrick is the patron saint of snake exterminators, and Scholastica is the patron saint of snow days.

Thanks all, much appreciated.