Skip to main content

German, South, Saint John on Patmos

Key facts
Full title Saint John on Patmos
Artist German, South
Date made about 1460-70
Medium and support Oil on oak
Dimensions 42.8 × 43.8 cm
Acquisition credit Bequeathed by W.B. Chamberlin, 1937
Inventory number NG4901
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Saint John on Patmos
German, South

Saint John the Evangelist is shown on the island of Patmos. According to tradition, this was where he wrote the biblical Book of Revelation, a description of the events leading up to the end of the world.

Gripping an ink pot in one hand and a quill in the other, the saint is deep in concentration, writing on a scroll unfurled across his knees. His traditional symbol, the eagle, perches by his side on a red book (probably his Gospel). Acting as the medium of John’s divine inspiration, it raises its head to the heavens, where its beady eyes seem transfixed.

This picture was painted when artists were developing an interest in depicting nature, and the episode offered the opportunity to paint a varied landscape setting.

Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download a low-resolution copy of this image for personal use.

License this image

License and download a high-resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.

License image
Download low-resolution image

This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.

Examples of non-commercial use are:

  • Research, private study, or for internal circulation within an educational organisation (such as a school, college or university)
  • Non-profit publications, personal websites, blogs, and social media

The image file is 800 pixels on the longest side.

As a charity, we depend upon the generosity of individuals to ensure the collection continues to engage and inspire. Help keep us free by making a donation today.

Download low-resolution image

You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.

Creative Commons Logo