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QUATREFOIL: The Inspiration of St. Matthew by Caravaggio (1602)

The word ‘Gospel’ represents a record of Christ deeds and His life. It is equivalent to the Greek word‘euangelion’ which translates as ‘good news’. The origins of this word can be traced to the Romans who designated the date of Caesar’s birth as ‘euangelion’ (good news) for the whole world. The four evangelists to announce the Good News of Christ in the Bible are Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

Inspired by the Revelation of St. John the Evangelist (4: 6 – 7) and the visions of Ezekiel (1: 5 -14), the Early Christian artist often depicted each gospel writer with a winged figure. Although subject to varied interpretation, St. Jerome envisioned the man (Matthew) as a representative of the Incarnation, the lion (Mark) a representative of the Resurrection, the bull (Luke) a representative of the Passion and the eagle (John) as a representative of the Ascension.

In this series titled ‘Quatrefoil’ through art and its interpretation we will explore the lives of the Gospel writers and their sources of inspiration.

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