'Scenes from the Life of St John the Baptist', Circle of Francesco Granacci

Various groups of people starting within an arched temple, contrasted against a deep landscape within the centre of the canvas, leading to more foreground scenes within a rocky outcrop.

Panel, 77.4 x 228.6

Accession Number WAG2783

This painting shows several scenes from the saint's childhood. They are in chronological order across the panel from left to right, much like a modern comic strip would do today. The events span from his father writing 'His name is John' whilst struck dumb to his time in the desert before he began his ministries.

The panel comes from a series illuminating the life of the Baptist, the patron saint of Florence. It may have decorated a private chapel in the city. Other panels from the same group are now in the Metropolitan Museum, New York.

The loggia on the left is an elegant example of Florentine Renaissance architecture. Combined with the beautiful landscape background, this gives the New Testament figures a 16th century Italian setting.

External Links

'Scenes from the life of St John the Baptist', Metropolitan Museum, New York|
'The Preaching of St John the Baptist', Metropolitan Museum, New York|