Scenes from the Life of St John the Baptist

WAG 2783


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.