Saint John the Evangelist

Artist: Segna di Buonaventura (Italian, active Siena by 1298–died 1326/31)

Date: ca. 1320

Medium: Tempera on wood, gold ground

Dimensions: Overall, with engaged (largely modern) frame, 35 x 22 in. (88.9 x 55.9 cm); painted surface 27 1/4 x 16 1/2 in. (69.2 x 41.9 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Gift of George Blumenthal, 1941

Accession Number: 41.100.22


This is the best preserved panel of a signed altarpiece by Segna of which three other panels are also in the Metropolitan Museum (for other panels from the altarpiece, see Although Segna’s art is dependent on the work of Duccio, his figures have a regal, hieratic formality. His ascetic, harshly featured saints consciously evoke a more archaic art, and he notably retained the Byzantine use of gold striations on draperies—emblematic of the sacred world of icons.