Works on display that are part of our guided tour and activities on 9/11/19

4 Items in this Learning Collection
Collection Object

Copyright
All Rights Reserved ()

St. John the Evangelist on Patmos

Accession Number
1958/2.77

Title
St. John the Evangelist on Patmos

Artist(s)
Joos van Cleve; Lucas Gassel

Object Creation Date
circa 1525

Medium & Support
oil on panel, mounted on panel

Dimensions
28 ¼ in x 29 ⅛ in (71.75 cm x 73.98 cm)

Subject matter
This painting depicts St. John the Evangelist writing the book of Revelation during his exile on the Greek island of Patmos. A pair of books, signifying the foundations of John's prophecy in the Old Testament, lie at his side, and an eagle, the symbol associated with John, has landed next to him. The saint fixes his attention upon the Virgin Mary who holds the infant Christ and hovers in the sky in a glowing mandorla as the "woman clothed with the sun" described in Revelation (12:1-6). The land falls away precipitously behind St. John and opens into a dramatic panorama of a bustling port and craggy mountains. Despite the great distance of the landscape we can discern, as if with telescopic eyes, myriad details that make the setting resemble sixteenth-century Flanders rather than a remote Mediterranean island.

Physical Description
St. John the Evangelist sits in the foreground with a book open on his knee and quill pen poised over its pages. Two books rest next to him and an eagle has alighted on an adjacent rock. St. John looks up and to his right to see a standing figure of the Virgin Mary holding the infant Christ, who appear in a glowing mandorla hovering in the sky. A vast panoramic view of a bustling harbor and formidable mountains unfolds behind St. John and extends into the distance.

Primary Object Classification
Painting

Primary Object Type
biblical

Additional Object Classification(s)
Ritual Object

Collection Area
Western

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Keywords
Christianity
books
eagles (birds)
harbors
landscapes (representations)

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& Author Notes

Web Use Permitted

On display

UMMA Gallery Location ➜ AMH, 1st floor ➜ 102 (Richard and Rosann Noel Gallery)