- Museum number
- Object: St John the Evangelist and his Disciple Prochoros at Patmos
Icon; painted; the Evangelist St John is depicted on the island of Patmos dictating to his scribe Prochoros a passage from the Apocalypse. The Evangelist is seated and turns his head to look at an angel behind him. Both the saint and Prochoros sit in a rocky landscape near a cave. Above the figures is the symbol of the Evangelist – a lion holding a gospel enclosed by clouds.
Inscription: in gold in Church Slavonic by the Evangelist's symbol: ИОАНН (John).
Egg tempera, gold, gesso on wood.
- Production date
Height: 32 centimetres
Thickness: 2.30 centimetres
Width: 26 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- John (d. c. 105–6), apostle, saint and Evangelist, was the son of Zebedee and the brother of the apostle James. He was the author of the fourth Gospel, of three of the Catholic epistles in the New Testament canon, and the Apocalypse (Book of Revelation) was also attributed to him. According to his ‘vitae’ he supposedly dictated the words of the Apocalypse to his scribe Prochoros on Patmos, where they had both been exiled after the Assumption of the Virgin Mary.
According to Irinaeus of Lyons (c. 130–200) John’s Evangelist symbol was a lion, although both Hieronymus (c. 341–420) and Augustine of Hippo (354–430) considered it to be an eagle (see Galavaris 1979, 36–49). Russian Old Believers, after the time of the schism (1650), favoured the lion as John’s symbol. According to Orthodox iconography John is assisted by Prochoros who was one of seven deacons and later the first bishop of Nicomedia. The Museum’s icon follows the traditional composition.
Cormack 2007, 123, no. 44
- Not on display
- Made from a single panel with ‘kovcheg’; two inserted battens on the reverse; the reverse, which is wood-wormed, is covered with brown paint; the painting is heavily restored, possibly by Old Believers in the 19th century; the paint layer on the borders has been scraped down to the white gesso.
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- See 1998,0605.1 Most of the items catalogued under 1998,0605 were acquired by Sir Frank Roberts’ wife, Cella.
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: IC 44 (Icon Collection number)