St. John at Patmos

Gustave Doré. St John on Patmos. Illustration for the Bible. 1865-1866.

Gustave Doré was a French illustrator and engraver. In 1866 he published a series of 241 wood engravings for a deluxe edition of the 1843 French translation of the Vulgate Bible popularly known as the Bible de Tours that was published simultaneously in France and England. The Bible was a large and expensive folio so the illustrations were also sold separately. They have been reproduced regularly since then, influencing the visual arts, popular culture, and primarily film making because of Doré’s dramatic staging and lighting. St. John of Patmos is an illustration from the New Testament collection stages a scene for the writing of the book of Revelation. Patmos is the Greek island in the Aegean Sea, thought to be the location of both the vision of and the writing of the book of Revelation.

St John on Patmos. Illustration by Gustave Dore for the Bible 1865-6

The island-filled sea between Greece and Turkey, which opens to the Mediterranean sea on the south.

The otherwise unattested author of the book of Revelation. Historically, he was identified with John the Apostle, but modern scholars believe he was a different person, perhaps a Christian banished to Patmos.

A collection of first-century Jewish and early Christian writings that, along with the Old Testament, makes up the Christian Bible.

The Latin-language translation of the Christian Bible (mostly from Hebrew and Greek) created primarily by Jerome.

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