Museums and Art

"St. John Chrysostom", Sebastiano del Piombo - description of the painting



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St. John Chrysostom - Sebastiano del Piombo. 200 x 165 cm

The painting is located in the altar of the Church of St. John Chrysostom in Venice, was commissioned by Katerina Kantarini. At this time, Sebastiano was influenced by his teachers Giorgione and Giovanni Bellini. According to Vasari, many ignorant of painting people thought that this was the work of Giorgione.

The muffled coloring of the picture creates a peaceful, sublime mood. The composition is harmonious. The figures of the saints are static and at the same time full of hidden movement, each carries its message to the viewer. Monumentality and grandeur to the plot are added by ancient architecture. At the same time, the lyrical landscape in the background, the smoothness of the lines in the image of the saints, the deep colors give the work of spirituality and life.

The painting depicts St. John Chrysostom with saints Catherine, Mary Magdalene, Lucia, John the Evangelist, John the Baptist and Theodore.

John Chrysostom - Archbishop of Constantinople, preacher, church writer, depicted without the attributes of his high rank. He sits in simple clothes on the steps of an ancient building with a big book in his hands, writes and reads aloud his works. By placing John Chrysostom on the porch of a grandiose building (temple), the artist may have wanted to show that the saint is the founder, the main ideologist of the Christian church.

The saints surrounding John are divided into three groups. Behind his shoulder is the head of John the Theologian, who wrote one of the Gospels, the Apocalypse and several epistles to Christians. The apostle thoughtfully hears John Chrysostom, with his holy power helping the bishop complete his work.

On the left, the artist placed a group of three women. This is St. Catherine, Mary Magdalene and St. Lucia. The figure of Mary Magdalene immediately attracts attention. A beautiful woman with her hair is holding an incense vessel. Her face is turned to the viewer, at which she looks piercingly, as if inviting to bow down in repentant prayer. Saint Lucia - the patroness of the blind - is depicted with her eyes closed, in her hands she holds her attribute - a dish. The woman bowed, listening to the words of the great old man. St. Catherine readily follows them.

Right in the foreground is John the Baptist in camel-hair clothes, leaning on a reed cross. The prophet who predicted the appearance of Christ attentively hears John Chrysostom. Behind him in holy knightly armor and with a spear in his hand stands the holy great martyr Theodore Tiron. Before the relics of St. Mark were transferred to Venice, he was considered the main patron of the city.


Watch the video: SEBASTIANO DEL PIOMBO (May 2022).