St Mark the Evangelist in his Study
pen and brush on vellum (27 × 19 cm) — 1025-1050 Walters Art Museum, Baltimore
This work is linked to Mark 1:1
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The evangelist briefly pauses while writing the gospel. On the table are a pair of compasses and an inkwell. The compass was probably used to draw parallel lines in the parchment pages before writing on them.
This miniature was produced in Constantinople (present day Istanbul), the capital of the Byzantine empire. The unknown artist used paint, ink and gold.
The Gospel of Mark is probably the oldest gospel in the Bible. Mark was not an apostle. It may have been Peter who encouraged him to write down the gospel.
Byzantine art had much influence on later style periods. This is most visible in orthodox icons. But also the works of early Italian renaissance artists show Byzantine influences.
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