The J. Paul Getty Museum

Saint Andrew

Object Details


Saint Andrew


Master H.B. (German, active early 16th century)




Germany (Place Created)


about 1530


Pen and brown ink and gray wash

Object Number:



21.1 × 15.5 cm (8 5/16 × 6 1/8 in.)

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Object Description

This monumental figure of St. Andrew stands on a hilltop, absorbed in reading. His left arm cradles two rough-hewn branches in the form of a saltire cross. Spread out behind him is a city, and in the far background a mountain landscape complete with a castle overlooks a lake with a boat.

St. Andrew was one of the twelve apostles of Christ. He is often represented holding the Gospels, but this treatment reflects the Protestant tenor of sixteenth-century Saxony. In 1522 the protestant reformer Martin Luther published a translation of the Bible in German. He challenged the authority of the Catholic Church and encouraged direct interaction with the Scripture by lay people. In this drawing, St. Andrew does not simply hold the religious text, he is wholly involved in reading it.

Ten Years of Drawings: What, How, and Why (January 29 to May 4, 2008)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), January 29 to May 4, 2008
Renaissance Drawings from Germany and Switzerland, 1470-1600 (March 27 to June 17, 2012)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), March 27 to June 17, 2012