Saint Mark

Object Details

Title:

Saint Mark

Artist/Maker(s):

Unknown

Culture:

Byzantine

Date:

about 1325 - 1345

Medium:

Tempera colors and gold leaf on parchment

Dimensions:

Leaf: 19.2 x 14.5 cm (7 9/16 x 5 11/16 in.)

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In this detached leaf from a Gospel Book, the naturalistic draperies that envelop the saint and the detailed rendering of his writing tools contrast with a bare, gleaming gold background. These elements are characteristic of the late Byzantine painting style prominent at the court of the Emperor after the sack of the capital, Constantinople (modern Istanbul), in 1204. The leaf would have originally preceded the text of the Gospel writer shown here, Saint Mark. Seated and sharpening his pen, he prepares to write the first word of his Gospel. The distinctive painted frame around Saint Mark is one element that allows art historians to date the leaf; its large corner decorations and deeply curling foliate ornaments correspond with a group of illuminated manuscripts painted around 1300 in Constantinople.

Related Works
Exhibitions
Five Hundred Years of Manuscript Illumination (February 11 to June 1, 2003)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), February 11 to June 1, 2003
Byzantium: Faith and Power (1261 - 1557) (March 15 to July 5, 2004)
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art, (New York), March 15 to July 5, 2004
Byzantium and the West (September 14 to December 5, 2004)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), September 14, 2004 to December 5, 2003
The Gospels in Medieval Manuscript Illumination (October 31, 2006 to January 7, 2007)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), October 31, 2006 to January 7, 2007
"In the Beginning was the Word": Medieval Gospel Illumination (August 30 to November 27, 2011)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), August 30 to November 27, 2011