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Carlo Crivelli, Saint John the Baptist
This painting is part of the group: The Demidoff Altarpiece
This panel showing Saint John the Baptist is from the large 'Demidoff Altarpiece' made for the high altar of San Domenico in Ascoli Piceno, east central Italy.

Saint John is shown with two of the attributes commonly associated with him: a cross and a scroll bearing the first few words of the phrase 'ECCE. AGNVS DEI QVI TOLLIT PECCATUM MONDI' (Behold the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world).

To indicate his life as a hermit in the wilderness, Crivelli has painted him dressed in animal skins and standing in a landscape of rocks and sparse plants (the other saints in the altarpiece stand on marble steps). A bird is perched, hunched up with its back to us to the Baptist's right. The splash of red just visible on its head suggests that it is a goldfinch. (The goldfinch was said to have acquired its red face by plucking a thorn from Christ's brow on his way to Calvary to be crucified, and being splashed by his blood.)

Other paintings in this group: The Demidoff Altarpiece

Saint Peter
Carlo Crivelli
1476
Saint Peter
Saint Dominic
Carlo Crivelli
1476
Saint Dominic
Saint Francis
Carlo Crivelli
1476
Saint Francis
Saint Andrew
Carlo Crivelli
1476
Saint Andrew
Saint Stephen
Carlo Crivelli
1476
Saint Stephen

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