Saint John the Evangelist

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

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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.

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“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

Saint John the Evangelist
On View
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 Description
  • Religion – saint – St. John
  • Dress – historic – classical dress
Object Number
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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