This monumental figure of St. Andrew stands on a hilltop, absorbed in reading. His left arm cradles two rough-hewn branches in the form of a saltire cross. Spread out behind him is a city, and in the far background a mountain landscape complete with a castle overlooks a lake with a boat.

St. Andrew was one of the twelve apostles of Christ. He is often represented holding the Gospels, but this treatment reflects the Protestant tenor of sixteenth-century Saxony. In 1522 the protestant reformer Martin Luther published a translation of the Bible in German. He challenged the authority of the Catholic Church and encouraged direct interaction with the Scripture by lay people. In this drawing, St. Andrew does not simply hold the religious text, he is wholly involved in reading it.


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