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 . . .