Temple Gallery

Established 1959

Exhibitions Archive


AZ25. Saint Mark the Evangelist
Russian, 16th century
Panel: 52.3 x 41 cmClick here to convert metric size to imperial
Condition: lower left-hand corner restored and the inner red border repainted, work probably done in Russia in the first half of the twentieth century.
Provenance: Temple Gallery, Masterpieces of Byzantine and Russian Icon Painting 12th – 16th Century, 1974, No. 51. Morsink Icon Gallery, 2020 T-3, Sotheby’s Russian Works of Art, 2020.
Feast Day: 25th of April

No. 25 Detail

No. 25. Detail of the head of Saint Mark

This icon depicts the Apostle Saint Mark the Evangelist. Although there is no identifying inscription, Mark is portrayed as a middle-aged man with brown hair in the Orthodox tradition. Mark is depicted as a scholar, sitting on a stool and resting his feet on a footstool. In his right hand he holds a red quill and to his right there is a small desk with parchment and ink. This manner of depicting the Apostles is common and seen throughout the Orthodox period. The iconography is derived from classical depictions of scholars and remains consistent. Mark sits in an architectural setting and underneath a piece of red cloth that is hung between the two buildings on the left and right of the icon.

The text he is writing states ‘The beginning of the Gospel [of Mark]’.

In Orthodoxy, unlike the western tradition, Saint Mark is identified with an Eagle and in some other icons of the Apostle the red curtain hung above his head has a representation of an Eagle.

Back of the panel