Temple Gallery

Established 1959

Scenes from the life of St John the Evangelist - exhibited at the Temple Gallery, specialists in Russian icons

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VV015. Scenes from the Life of St John the Evangelist

19th century
Fragment inset into a later panel
25 x 35 cmClick here to convert metric size to imperial

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This icon is a fragment of a larger work showing the Life of St John the Evangelist. John is depicted as an old man with a long beard. His scribe, Prochorus, is shown as a young man dressed in bright red. The events are taken from the hagiography of John's life.[1] One can see the complete cycle of illustrated events from John's hagiography in the frescoes of the Monastery of St. John the Theologian in Hora, Patmos, Greece.

Top Left: John is sentenced to death under the persecution of Christians by the Emperor Nero.
Top right: John survives the poisoned chalice, casting out a serpent from the wine, and embracing his disciple and scribe Prochorus. It is unusual for this subject to be depicted in Eastern art - as it derives from The Golden Legend[2] - and is normally associated with Western art.
Bottom left: John and Prochorus sail to Asia Minor to preach the Gospel during a tempest.
Bottom right: This scene is ambiguous, but perhaps shows Prochorus in the waves of the sea before he is washed up onto the shore.

1. For the Orthodox hagiography of John's life, see:

Detail Images