Saint John the Evangelist

Meuse regionaround 1320



St John’s head and the way his hair sticks out, his narrow, elongated figure and the typical folds of his draped cloak indicate that the statue was created in the second quarter of the fourteenth century. The remarkably elongated figure of St John the Evangelist was originally part of a Calvary group. It would have stood on the right-hand side of a Christ on the cross that is unknown. The pendant, a statue of the Virgin from the other side of the cross, has survived, but it is no longer presentable due to damage through inexpert repair in the past. It is possible that the group stood high up on a rood beam in a church, which would explain the remarkably long figure of St John. Some rare traces of the original polychromy can still be seen on the woodcarving. The statue of the Virgin has been stripped of its original paint, unlike the statue of St John, which still retains a significant part of the original polychromy. These colourful remains give some impression of what the original mediaeval woodcarving would have looked like. Characteristics like the relatively small head, the graphically shaped hair and the slender figure of St John situate the walnut statue in the Meuse region.

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  • Title: Saint John the Evangelist
  • Creator: Meuse region
  • Date: around 1320
  • Physical Dimensions: h. 131 cm
  • Provenance: Loan Limburgs Geschied- en Oudheidkundig Genootschap. © Peter Cox/Bonnefantenmuseum Maastricht
  • Medium: Walnut with traces of polychromy