Peter Paul Rubens 1577 – 1640

St John the Apostle

oil on panel (108 × 83 cm) — c. 1611 Museum Museo del Prado, Madrid

Peter Paul Rubens biography

This work is linked to Revelation 22:8

Around 1612 Rubens made a series of portraits of the apostles, in commission of the duke of Lerma. St John can be identified by the goblet: legend has it that someone tried to kill him by serving him poisoned wine. The murder attempt failed: John is said to have died a natural death.

John, a fisherman, was a brother of St James. He, Peter and James were the disciples that stood closest to Jesus. John is often mentioned as the disciple whom Jesus loved.

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