St. John the Evangelist and St. Francis (c.1608; Spain) by El Greco

St. John the Evangelist and St. Francis - El Greco - c.1608; Spain

Artwork Information

TitleSt. John the Evangelist and St. Francis
ArtistEl Greco
Datec.1608; Spain
Dimensions65 x 54 cm
Art MovementMannerism (Late Renaissance)
Current LocationMuseo del Prado, Madrid, Spain

About St. John the Evangelist and St. Francis

The painting “St. John the Evangelist and St. Francis” by El Greco, created around 1608 during the Mannerism period, is an oil on canvas religious painting, measuring 65 cm by 54 cm. It is part of the collection of the Museo del Prado in Madrid, Spain.

In the artwork, two prominent figures are depicted, both central to the theme of religious inspiration. On the left stands St. John the Evangelist, identifiable by his attribute of a chalice, shown in a dramatic red cloak that billows as if pushed by an unseen wind. His gaze seems reflective, directed slightly upwards, possibly symbolizing his heavenly inspiration or contemplation of divine mysteries.

Beside him is St. Francis, dressed in the simple brown robe of his religious order, the Franciscans. He holds his hands close to his chest in a gesture of humility and devotion, indicative of his deep faith and spiritual fervor. His posture suggests a moment of revelation or prayer, aligning with the strong sense of piety St. Francis embodies.

The composition is dynamic, with the figures set against a cloudy sky that adds to the overall dramatic and spiritual mood of the scene. El Greco’s use of elongated forms and the intense contrast of colors, characteristic of his style and the Mannerism movement, contribute to the expression of inner emotional and spiritual states.

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