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image SG89

Saint John on Patmos, stained glass roundel, after Marten de Vos, Netherlandish or German? c.1600

Clear glass with brown paint

Height: 246mm
Width: 225mm

Museum number: SG89

Curatorial note

St John, barefoot, sits on rocks beneath a central tree, with an open book in his left arm. His eagle perches on the ground to his right with wings partly open and looking towards him. The Saint dips his pen into the inkwell held in the eagle's beak. A book, clasped shut, lies on the ground to the right. In the distance are buildings and a river with an arched bridge.

The figure of St John, the eagle, books and rocks are after Marten de Vos and closely approximate the drawing, although they are shown in reverse, as is the later engraving by J. Sadeler. Another engraving by J. Wierix, one of four plates from the 1585 Thesaurus Sacrarum follows the original drawing (the reverse of the roundel) but differs in several respects. Another version at the Museum Curtius, Luik, is closer to Sadeler's print in the background detail.

Popham concluded the panel was Flemish, c.1560-70, however the similarity in technique and execution to Saint Judasius, SG73, suggests this panel may have a German provenance under Netherlandish influence.

The annotated Farebrother sale catalogue of 1802 has a cross marked against Lot 18, St John writing the Revelation, for which £1-8-0 was paid, and may have formed part of Soane’s purchase of glass recorded as a subsequent payment to Farebrother (see ‘The Stained Glass in Sir John Soane’s Museum – An Overview’, pp 119-132)


A. E. Popham’s comments are MS notes in pencil held at Sir John Soane’s Museum, c.1930
F. W. H. Hollstein, Dutch and Flemish etchings, engravings and woodcuts ca. 1450-1700. Amsterdam: Rijksmusem, 1949–1996, XLIV, XLV 780
Marie Mauquoy-Hendrickx, Les Estampes de Wierix. Brussels: Bibliothèque royale Albert 1er, 1979, II, 835
Dr C. J. Berserik, correspondence. Sir John Soane's Museum Archive (1998-2002)
Catalogue of the Stained Glass in Sir John Soane's Museum, Special Issue of the Journal of Stained Glass 2004, p. 223

If you have any further information about this object, please contact us: worksofart@soane.org.uk