The baptism of Christ, Piero della Francesca
- Posted by Piero della Francesca
- Museum: National Gallery (London)
- Year: Around 1450
Overview of the painting :
The baptism of Christ – Piero della Francesca. Around 1450
The baptism scene was written for the abbey of San Giovanni Battista in the hometown of Piero della Francesca Borgo San Sepolcro, Urbino, probably around 1450. The two central figures – Christ and John the Baptist, over which the dove, the Holy Spirit, soars – differ from other characters in their solemn stillness, emphasizing the extreme importance of what is happening.
Geometric proportions typical of the artist and light-saturated tones appear in the monumental figures of the three observing angels, who, in the traditional interpretations of this plot, usually hold the clothes of Christ at the moment when he enters the Jordan River. A group of Jewish priests in dark clothes contrasts with the bright figures of the angels, located behind an amazingly pale man, waiting for baptism and taking off his shirt. The sky, which is reflected in motionless water, enhances the harmony of the entire scene.
BEAUTY. At the age of about 30, Christ took baptism from St. John the Baptist.
SV. JOHN CROSSER. John was the cousin of Jesus and the son of the priest Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth. His wonderful birth and life is described in the Gospel of St. Luke. When John grew up, he preached in the desert that the kingdom of heaven was near. He baptized many people, proclaiming: “The strongest of me is coming.”. John the Baptist is the most common saint in Renaissance painting.