Saint John the Evangelist

Artist: Segna di Buonaventura (Italian, active Siena by 1298–died 1326/31)

Date: ca. 1320

Medium: Tempera on wood, gold ground

Dimensions: Overall, with engaged (largely modern) frame, 35 x 22 in. (88.9 x 55.9 cm); painted surface 27 1/4 x 16 1/2 in. (69.2 x 41.9 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Gift of George Blumenthal, 1941

Accession Number: 41.100.22

Description

This is the best preserved panel of a signed altarpiece by Segna of which three other panels are also in the Metropolitan Museum (for other panels from the altarpiece, see metmuseum.org/collections). Although Segna’s art is dependent on the work of Duccio, his figures have a regal, hieratic formality. His ascetic, harshly featured saints consciously evoke a more archaic art, and he notably retained the Byzantine use of gold striations on draperies—emblematic of the sacred world of icons.

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