Saints John the Evangelist, Peter, and Paul

Basilica of San Pietro, Venice

The title is provided by a label in the basilica, but perhaps the subject may be more precisely identified as St. John's supposed ascension into Heaven. The light from above is a feature of narratives and images of this event, and the angel's pose resembles those of angels coming for martyrs at the time of their death, although in this case John was not a martyr so there is no palm branch. Although the saint is seated on a cliff, his open-arms gesture, raised knee, and billowing mantle suggest an imminent ascent.

The saints are identified in the conventional manner. St. John holds a chalice and St. Peter a set of keys. St. Paul has his usual pointed beard. The open books on the laps of Paul and John refer to their authorship of books of the New Testament and to their grounding in scripture.

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Read more about images of the ascension of St. John the Evangelist.
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Read more about images of St. Paul.

Photographed at the site by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.