The Naming of St John the Baptist

WAG 2846


This rarely-painted biblical scene shows the moments after John the Baptist’s birth. Zacharias was struck dumb for doubting the miraculous pregnancy of his elderly wife, Elizabeth. Here, he writes down the newborn’s name, which restores his speech. Solimena was a leading artist in Naples. He operated a large studio with many pupils, including Scottish artist Allan Ramsay. This painting may have been a study for a larger work.