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The Four Evangelists
Rubens choose to represent the Four Evangelists in the context of the institution of the Blessed Sacrament according to descriptions of the Last Supper in the Gospels. From left to right we can see St. Luke, depicted with a ox (a symbol of sacrifice), St. Mark, holding a Gospel under his arm, accompanied by a lion (a symbol of the resurrection of Christ), St. Matthew and the angel, shown as they communicate between heaven and earth to turn God’s word into the Gospel and finally St. John, looking up to an eagle, a symbol of his ability to “look into the sun” and get his vision about the Apocalypse.

© Courtesy of the The Ringling Museum of Art