According to medieval tradition, Saint Luke was at once an evangelist, a painter, and a doctor. In this miniature, Luke and his emblematic ox are seen with the tools of his three trades. As the author of one of the four Gospels, he is shown writing with a pen in a book; his inkwell and pen case rest on a table nearby. Propped behind them is the painting of the Virgin Mary he was thought to have painted from life. On the shelf above his head stand two round bottles of clear glass, of the type used by medieval doctors to examine urine specimens. To this day, many hospitals are named St. Luke’s.
Jean Fouquet, Saint Luke, from the “Hours of Jean Robertet,” France, Tours, ca. 1465–68, MS M.834, fol. 15. Purchased with the assistance of the Fellows, 1950.