St. John the Evangelist and Saint Francis of Assisi by El Greco

St. John the Evangelist and Saint Francis of Assisi by El Greco

The paintings of El Greco are attributed to Mannerism, then to Baroque, in fact it does not belong to any of the currents. Originality of this artist’s manner is expressed in the presented picture.

El Greco painted on it St. John the Evangelist, talking with Saint Francis. At the feet of John is placed his symbol – the eagle, and in the hands of the apostle holds the cup from which the dragon comes out. The Master remembers here the story of how a disciple of Christ, preaching His word, was seized and sent to Rome, where he was given a bowl of poison. After drinking it, John remained unharmed.

In the painting, the cup in the hand symbolizes the church, and the dragon, who in the course of time replaced the serpent in this iconography, is an evil conquered by faith. An example of such faith is Saint Francis. Typical for the painting of El Greco, elongated figures of the characters resemble flames above the candles.

Earth, stretching at the feet of the saints, emphasizes the scale of their images, and the background is the celestial blue with dense clouds, according to which John and Francis could ascend to heaven.

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