The apostle Saint Andrew is portrayed as an elderly man whose naked body is covered only by a wrap around his loins. His face, framed by a long beard and short hair, is turned towards the X-shaped cross on which he is leaning. A fisherman on the Sea of Galilee like his younger brother Saint Peter, Saint Andrew was the first apostle to follow Jesus. Jacques de Voragine’s golden legend describes his epic apostolate after Pentecost, first in Asia Minor on the shores of the Black Sea and finally in Greece, where he was crucified on the orders of the Roman authorities. Particularly venerated by the Orthodox Church, he is also the Patron Saint of Scotland.
He spent 30 years in Rome (1676 - 1705), a period which played an essential role in his career. First benefiting from a pension from the Academy of France, he sculpted the Terms of Summer and Winter (gardens of Versailles). He produced many commissions for Popes Innocent XII and Clement XI. On his return to France in 1705, the sculptor worked at the Invalides, the Royal Chapel of Versailles and Marly. His very personal style involved great precision and a certain degree of rigidity, emphasising the verticality of reclining figures.