Four Evangelists, Jacob Yordans – a description of the picture
- Posted by Jacob Yordans
- Museum: Louvre
- Year: 1625
Description of the picture :
Four Evangelists – Jacob Yordans. 1625. Oil on canvas. 133 x 118 cm
The picture refers to the early period of the artist’s work. It depicts a rather traditional motive – the image of biblical characters, four evangelists, companions of Jesus Christ. Evangelists in the general tradition of religious communities of Christianity called the creators of the four canonical gospels – the apostles John, Mark, Matthew and Luke.
Despite the rather ordinary, traditional plot, the execution of the picture is rather unusual, especially considering the time of creating the picture. It depicts all four evangelists at once together, although it is now believed that, most likely, the creators of the gospels were not the famous four and were very different in time in relation to each other.
In the picture, evangelists are depicted as reading the Bible, possibly at the time of making edits or additions to it. Right before our eyes, history is being made and the main book of mankind is being written. The simultaneous presence on the canvas of all four biblical characters symbolizes the unity of the spirit and the desire to continue the work of Christ together even after his death on the cross.
In the center of the canvas is the figure of the youngest apostle, the beloved disciple of Jesus Christ – St. John. He is young, almost a boy, his youth is emphasized by the pure white color of the bedspread. This sets him apart and the center of the picture, attracts attention to it.
Mature men surround young John – Mark, Matthew and Luke, a former icon painter and subsequently became the patron saint of artists. All of them have serious, well-visible marks of their middle-aged age – gray hair, bald heads, beards and restrained dark robes.
They surround John with a dark ring, emphasizing his freshness and attractiveness. The artist unusually well managed to depict the folds of the fabric – they are voluminous, embossed, very lively and real.
The same applies to the image of faces. They are very expressive and spiritual. It is safe to say that the artist wrote them from real people, they are too natural and living, they do not have that artificiality characteristic of fictional images.
This simple, but significant and very well-performed picture makes it clear that a great master wrote it, who has both a coloristic gift and masterly masterfully owns the brush.
The fact that this picture is stored in the largest museum in the world only emphasizes its belonging to the masterpieces of world art.