Saint Andrew, early to mid 15th century
Inscribed: Saint Andrew
Tempera and gold leaf on canvas transferred to modern wood panel
42 × 17 5/8 × 1 1/8 in. (106.7 × 44.8 × 2.9 cm)
1985-057.10 DJ

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Saint Andrew along with his brother, Saint Peter, were two of the twelve disciples of Jesus Christ, known as the apostles. According to scripture, Jesus called the brothers, both of who were fishermen, to follow him by promising that he would make them “fishers of men.” In the Orthodox tradition, Andrew was the patron saint of Constantinople (Istanbul), as Peter was of Rome. He was among the first of Christ’s disciples to acquire a distinctive appearance in art with tousled white hair and beard; however, icons of Saint Andrew are relatively rare. Although the left margin of this panel has been lost, the scale of what remains suggests that it originally occupied a large setting, likely a church’s templon, the barrier that separated the nave from the altar. There it would have been aligned with other full-length icons of the apostles. The extreme elongation, bright red and green colors, and billowing robes of this figure are characteristic of the Serbian Morava school, a conclusion supported by the Slavonic inscription that identifies the subject. Its formal resemblance to known Serbian icons dating between 1408–21 indicates that the work dates to the first half of the 15th century.