Saint John the Evangelist and an Angel

Object Details


Saint John the Evangelist and an Angel






Pen and pale brown ink, gray-brown wash on off-white paper


33.7 × 21 cm (13 1/4 × 8 1/4 in.)

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With an expression of longing, Saint John the Evangelist gazes upward to heaven, gesturing with his right hand. Broad folds of drapery clothe his long body. An angel swathed in flowing drapery flies behind him, sketched freely with several pentimenti. El Greco used long, free lines to create rich patterns of form and then applied broad strokes of wash as veils. This loose sketch, one of only three accepted drawings by El Greco, is typical of his free-flowing style with its rich interplay of light and dark. He made the drawing as a preparatory sketch for a painting of the Crucifixion.

Drawings from the J. Paul Getty Museum (May 24 to August 8, 1993) (55)
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), May 24 to August 8, 1993
Drawings from the J. Paul Getty Museum (October 29, 1993 to January 23, 1994) (121)
  • Royal Academy of Arts (London), October 29, 1993 to January 23, 1994
Juanes to Goya: Spanish Drawings 1560 -1825 (September 14 to November 28, 1999)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), September 14 to November 28, 1999
El Greco (ca. 1541 - 1614) (May 2 to September 16, 2001)
  • Kunsthistorisches Museum (Vienna), May 2 to September 16, 2001
El Greco (February 18 to May 24, 2004) (41; Catalogue by D. Davies, J. Elliott et. al.)
  • The National Gallery (London), February 18 to May 24, 2004