Vision of Saint John the Evangelist

Battista Dossi (Battista Luteri)

Ferrara, first documented 1517 – Ferrara, 1548


Oil on panel, cm 186 x 125

This altarpiece was commissioned by the Augustinian Canons for their altar in the church of Santa Maria in Vado. The saint is captured in a dramatic moment of ecstasy on the island of Patmos, as he sees a vision of the struggle between the Virgin of the Apocalypse and the Dragon. The cultural sophistication of the patrons is indicated by the large codex lying open at Saint John’s feet, and the saint is also shown holding a copy of his own gospel.