St. John Dictates the Apocalypse
Late 16th century
John's inspiration comes from the angel whose hand is shown in the upper left, and he then dictates it to his assistant, the deacon Prochorus. The basket of scrolls behind the writing table is comparable to the baskets pictured a thousand years before in the mosaics of Matthew and Luke writing their gospels in the basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna. Those baskets in turn derive from 2nd-century classical iconography that used them to indicate that a person portrayed was of a philosophical bent (Jensen, Face to Face, 44).
Source: Wikimedia Commons