Icon of Saint Mark

  • John W. Perates, Icon of Saint Mark, ca. 1940, carved and painted wood, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr. and museum purchase made possible by Ralph Cross Johnson, 1986.65.259

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John Perates created many images of saints inspired by his Greek Orthodox faith. This icon depicts Saint Mark the Evangelist, who wrote one of the four Gospels. The vine around the edge of the carving symbolizes Jesus, as described in the New Testament: “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vineyard keeper” (John 15:1), while the Greek letters A and O show that he represents the beginning (alpha) and end (omega) of all things. The saint is shown with an inkwell and quill, next to which appear the opening lines of his book: “The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written in the prophets . . .” (letter from Leonidas N. Economides, 1989). By combining all of these phrases, Perates emphasized the authenticity of Mark’s Gospel.

Title
Icon of Saint Mark
Artist
Date
ca. 1940
Location
Dimensions
49 3/4 x 28 x 6 in. (126.4 x 71.1 x 15.3 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr. and museum purchase made possible by Ralph Cross Johnson

Mediums
Mediums Description
carved and painted wood
Classifications
Keywords
  • Religion – saint – St. Mark
  • Animal – lion
  • Object – written matter – book
Object Number
1986.65.259
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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