Luke in His Studio

1533
MS. Illumination
Library of Congress MS. Rosenwald 10

The saint is shown painting only the Virgin (in her usual blue), without the Child. On the shelf behind him are a book, a small vase, and a basket. The book refers to his authorship of the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles, the small vase to his profession as a physician. (Molanus, 271, refers to the practice of including small vases in pictures of Luke's studio for this purpose.)

The significance of the basket is unclear, unless it is a very remote descendant of the basket of scrolls used in images such as the 6th-century mosaic of Luke at San Vitale in Ravenna.

More of St. Luke

Source: Geoffroy Tory via Wikimedia Commons