Francesco Ghissi, St. John the Evangelist Causes a Pagan Temple to Collapse

Circa 1370
Tempera on wood, gold ground
Metropolitan Museum of Art, 69.280.3, Gift of Mrs. W. Murray Crane

In this episode of St. John's legend he makes a deal with the pagans of a city in Asia. Pray to Diana in her temple and ask her to destroy the Church of Christ. If she does I will sacrifice to her; if she does not, then I will ask God to destroy her temple. The pagans agree and, as the painting shows, the temple and Diana's statue fall to pieces.

This is one of three scenes in the Metropolitan from a series on the life of St. John the Evangelist. The other two are St. John the Evangelist with Actaeus and Eugenius and St. John the Evangelist Raises Satheus to Life. Four other scenes are known. All were originally on the sides of a Crucifixion now in the Art Institute of Chicago.

Read more about images of St. John the Evangelist.

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