Saint John the Evangelist

Saint John, the author of the fourth gospel, is depicted at a moment of revelation. His pen is arrested and he has turned from the books to raise his eyes toward the true source of his inspiration.

The eagle, the bird thought to fly closest to heaven, was the saint's attribute. The heroic, frontal pose was based on the painter's study of ancient sculpture.

Key facts

Artist dates
1581 - 1641
Full title
Saint John the Evangelist
Date made
late 1620s
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
259 x 199.4 cm
Acquisition credit
On loan from a private collection
Inventory number
Location in Gallery