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Saint John on Patmos
Dunois Master (French, active Paris, France until 1463)
Paris, France; Tours, France (Place Created)
Tempera colors, gold paint, gold leaf, and ink on parchment
Ms. 7 (85.ML.27), fol. 3
Leaf: 11.4 × 8.3 cm (4 1/2 × 3 1/4 in.)
Partial gift of Gerald F. Borrmann
Seated among rugged hills, Saint John concentrates on writing the Apocalypse. The surrounding water identifies his location as the island of Patmos, where he wrote the Apocalypse after the Emperor Domitian exiled him for spreading the teachings of Christ. The greens of the island landscape and the blue waters inhabited by delicate swans form a strong contrast to the saint's luminous white robes.
This image of Saint John writing accompanies a portion of his gospel, a standard element in a book of hours. At about the same time as Jean Fouquet painted the facing heraldic image, an anonymous artist known today as the Chief Associate of the Bedford Master painted this narrative scene. Especially inventive are the decorative borders with dueling grotesque figures--clever hybrids of men and beasts.
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