|Saint Mark, Evangelist -
Died 57(?) AD
The four evangelists are represented as a group in many if not most Christian churches, but individual images of them are less common. St. Mark is patron of Venice, where images of him abound.
In the Golden Legend St. Mark is said to have accompanied St. Peter to Rome, whence Peter ordained him bishop (image) and sent him to Alexandria, where his first convert was the shoemaker Annianus (image). The Legend says that in the year 57 St. Mark was attacked while saying Mass and put to death and that his body was translated to Venice in 466 (image).
When with the other Evangelists St. Mark will have a lion as his attribute (example). In solo portraits the lion may be absent but he may be distinguished by a short, square beard and a book, as at left. The square beard is also seen in narrative images.
Feast day: April 25
At left, panel from a 1474 triptych by Vivarini
Narrative image by Tintoretto
Portrait in Sant'Agnese in Agone
Ivory plaque, Ottonian era
Attending the prayers of the Doge, 1581-4
In a Veronese Sacra Conversazione, 1540-43