It was traditional in illuminated manuscripts of the Bible to draw a picture of the author of each of the Gospels. This depiction of St. Matthew was created around 830 A.D. probably in Reims, France.
Other, more realistic, images were certainly being painted at that time, but here the unknown artist chose to infuse his depiction of St. Matthew the Evangelist with unmistakable energy.
Not only can you feel the emotion as he writes, but the scenery behind him, to me at least, seems to be being pulled down and into what he’s writing. As if to say, this is real, and all of creation is a part of it.
While little can be said of the artist and his great work, St. Matthew can be learned of from online sources such as Wikipedia, About.com and of course, he is ever present in his work, the Gospel of Matthew.