Saint John the Evangelist

  • Thomas Ball, Saint John the Evangelist, 1875, marble, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Robert and Judith Bahssin, 1990.26

Luce Center Label

Saint John the Evangelist was one of the few allegorical sculptures that Thomas Ball made in his life. It was a private commission that Ball agreed to do partly because of his own deep religious faith. The idealized style and white marble present him as a holy, inspired man. Ball took great pride in this statue because his friend Hiram Powers, the most prominent and controversial American sculptor of the day, had said it was his finest work.

Luce Object Quote

“It is impossible to conceive . . . how much the beauty of a work of art may be enhanced by a judicious arrangement . . . Indeed, when I first saw the statue in their house, I could hardly believe I had made it. This statue has always been a favorite with all, among my works.” Thomas Ball, My Fourscore Years

Title
Saint John the Evangelist
Artist
Date
1875
On View
Dimensions
46 7/8 x 17 1/2 x 19 1/4 in. (119.1 x 44.5 x 48.9 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Robert and Judith Bahssin

Mediums
Mediums Description
marble
Classifications
Keywords
  • Religion – saint – St. John
  • Dress – historic – classical dress
Object Number
1990.26
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

More from artist

More Artworks from the Collection

modeled 1895-1897
marble relief
ca. 1940s
carved and painted wood, painted copper sheet, ferrous eye hook, lead weight, and glass eyes