Jacob van Oost the Elder was a Flemish painter
Bruges 1601 – 1671 Bruges
Saint John the Evangelist
Oil on canvas : 55,7 X 41,9 cm
Frame : 73,0 X 58,1 cm
Religious art was never meant to be just a beautiful image. Art is about emotions, about goosebumps. Religious, biblical art after the Counter-Reformation needed to make a strong, clear statement. Here the head of Saint John the Evangelist, the favourite apostle of Christ, painted by the Flemish Caravaggist artist Jacob van Oost the Elder in the third quarter of the 17th century in Bruges: ART in all its simplicity and complexity.
Jacob van Oost I was the leading painter in Bruges around the
middle of the 17th century. He became the official town painter from
1651 until his death twenty years later.
Sir Anthony van Dyck and Sir Peter Paul Rubens have painted figures or heads of St John Evangelist in this pose, a discovery that must have strongly impressed van Oost, as one can see here.