St. John on Patmos, Hans Baldung (Green) – description of the painting

"St. John on Patmos, Hans Baldung (Green) – description of the painting

Description of the picture:

St. John on Patmos – Hans Baldung (Green). Around 1510. Oil on board. 87.3×75.6
This work depicts John the Theologian during his stay in Patmos, where he was exiled by King Domitian for his testimony of Jesus Christ. According to tradition, he is busy writing the Apocalypse. The painter, following the Holy Scriptures, depicts John in a desert landscape at work. In front of him appears “dressed in the sun, with a month at her feet” Madonna with a baby in her arms. John is shocked and delighted with the vision of the Virgin in a luminous cloud. In the background appear unique pictures of nature, in the image of which the painter achieved the skill of a sophisticated landscape painter. The biblical episode, so beloved by the northern painters, is revealed by Baldung Green in an unusually measured manner.

Eagle, possessing very keen eyesight, he was chosen as a sign of St. John, since his writings contain more specific and spiritually filled descriptions of God. The bird landed on a book, skillfully depicted from a complex angle. The greenish color and gold contrast with the black plumage of the falcon, emphasizing the contours of the bird."

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