St. Luke has, for many centuries, been the subject for many genres of artwork and symbolism. This space is set aside to honor Luke and those whose work he has inspired. To the left is a contemporary sculpture by Timothy Schmalz which features the winged ox, symbol of Luke and a cameo of the Virgin Mary. To the right is a leaf from the Irish Book of Kells (ca. 800 A. D.) which features an image of Luke with the three other apostles.
Domenico Ghirlandaio created this beautiful fresco (left) depicting St. Luke. The creation (1486-90) is part of the vaulting of the Santa Maria Novella in Florence, Italy. Also in Florence is the Chiesa di Orsanmichele, originally built as a grain market in the early 14th Century. Giovanni Bologna adorned this church with several religious statues, commissioned by the wealthy guilds of the era. St. Luke (lower left), a life-size bronze was created in 1601. Below is the painting "St Luke Drawing a Portrait of the Virgin," by the Brussels painter, Rogier van der Weyden. St. Luke the Evangelist was believed to have been the first Christian painter, and painted the Virgin Mary from life. He was the patron saint of painters, and thus was regarded as patron of their guilds. As a result, most of the major pictures of St. Luke were destined for use as altar pieces. Rogier's painting was probably an altarpiece for the Brussels guild. The painting is now part of the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Before the invention of printing from moveable type, around 1455, all books were written by a scribe on parchment or paper, though they were not always decorated. During the late Middle Ages, the Book of Hours developed as a popular devotional text for the laity, who would recite the particular prayer for the hour of the day and time of year according to the ecclesiastical calendar. The accompanying illuminations and miniatures of saints, the Virgin Mary, and Christ were not merely decoration; they provided an opportunity for spiritual reflection and prayer for salvation. The leaf to the left is one such illumination of St. Luke.
St. Clement Basilica was built over what is believed to be the 1st century home of St. Clement. It was customary for a place to be set aside in homes for the celebration of the Eucharist as there were no churches. Tradition has it that Peter and Paul each celebrated this early Christian rite in Clement's home. By the 2nd century, it was recorded as 'titulus Clementis', a place of worship in Rome. The current basilica was built in 1108. St. Francis and his brothers visited this basilica while in Rome. The beautiful golden fresco of Luke is original to the building.
Portrait of St. Luke for the Book of MacDurnan. This gospel book was written in the late 9th or early 10th century in Ireland by (or for) Maelbrigte MacDurnan, Abbot of Armagh & Raphoe, later of Iona. The book is also known as the Lambeth Gospels and is now kept in London at the Lambeth Palace Library. The artistry shows particularly well the Celtic unease at representational art. The scribe of the Book of MacDurnan did well on the decorative aspects, but had no feel for the style he was creating for the portrait. The sandals on the feet of Luke are so poorly produced that it looks as if he has cloven hoofs.