Portrait of St. Luke in the Gospel Book of Otto III by Mary Elizabeth Podles

A Thousand Words

Portrait of St. Luke in the Gospel Book of Otto III

by Mary Elizabeth Podles

This Luke is not a conventional seated scholar, placidly penning his Gospel. This Luke is a mystic, a visionary in a state of exaltation, lifted up to heaven by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and set among visionaries. The frame around him seems to be made of living trees, bursting into leaf and then into a fantastic archway made of ribbons, garlands, birds, lambs, and even the winds, all in warm reds and browns. Within the archway, the Evangelist sits in a mandorla, an a . . .