(St.). Patron saint of painters and physicians.
Tradition says he painted a portrait of the Virgin Mary. From Col. iv.
14 he is supposed to have been a physician.
in Christian art, is usually represented with an ox lying near him,
and generally with painting materials. Sometimes he seems engaged
painting a picture of the Virgin and infant Saviour, his descriptions
of the early life of the Saviour being more minute than that of the
other envangelists. Metaphrastus mentions the skill of St. Luke in
painting; John of Damascus speaks of his portrait of the Virgin (p.
631: Paris, 1712). Many pictures still extant are attributed to St.
Luke; but the artist was probably St. Luke, the Greek hermit; for
certainly these meagre Byzantine productions were not the works of the
evangelist. (See Lanzi: Storia Pittorica dell' Italia, ii. 10.)
St. Luke's Club
or The Virtuosis. An artists' club, established in England
by Sir Antonio Vandyke, and held at the Rose Tavern Fleet
Street. There was an academy of St. Luke founded by the Paris artists
in 1391; one at Rome, founded in 1593, but based on the “Compagnia di
San Luca” of Florence, founded in 1345; a similar one was established
at Sienna in 1355.
St. Luke's Summer,
called by the French Vété de S. Martin; hence the phrase “L'été de la S. Denis á la S. Martin,” from October 9th to November
11th, meaning generally the latter end of autumn.
... St. Luke's short summer lived these men,
Nearing the goal of threescore years and ten
Morris: Earthly Paradise (March).
As light as St. Luke's bird
(i.e. an ox). Not light at all, but quite the contrary. St. Luke is
generally represented writing, while behind him is an ox, symbolical of
sacrifice. The whole tableau means that Luke begins his gospel with the
priest sacrificing in the Temple.
Matthew is symbolised by a man, because he begins his gospel
with the manhood of Jesus as a descendant of David; Mark, by a lion, because he begins his gospel with the baptism in the wilderness; John,
by an eagle, because he begins his gospel by soaring into
heaven, and describing the pre-existing state of the Logos.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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