Skip to main content
The Naming of Saint John the Baptist
Barent Fabritius
/

Two women sit on a bed playing with a baby – one of them holds out an apple for the little boy to grasp in his chubby fingers. With an encouraging smile, the other points it out to him. The baby is Christ’s cousin, John. This is his naming day and he will grow up to be known as John the Baptist.

Zachariah sits writing on a tablet beside them. He and his wife Elisabeth were past child-bearing age, so when an angel prophesied John’s birth, Zachariah doubted its possibility and had his voice taken away as a punishment. On the naming day, the guests asked Elisabeth if the baby was to be named Zachariah after his father, as was the custom; Elisabeth answered he would be called John. Surprised, they looked at Zachariah for confirmation. He wrote ‘His name is John’ and immediately recovered the power of speech.

Key facts
Artist Barent Fabritius
Artist dates 1624 - 1673
Full title The Naming of Saint John the Baptist
Date made probably 1650-5
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 36.8 x 48 cm
Acquisition credit Bought, 1891
Inventory number NG1339
Location in Gallery Not on display
Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download an 800px wide, 72dpi copy of this image.

License this image

License and download a high resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.

License image
Download low resolution image

This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.

Examples of non-commercial use are:

  • Research, private study, or for internal circulation within an educational organisation (such as a school, college or university)
  • Non-profit publications, personal websites, blogs, and social media

The image file is 800 pixels on the longest side.

As a charity, we depend upon the generosity of individuals to ensure the collection continues to engage and inspire. Help keep us free by making a donation today.

Yes, I'd like to donate
Or
Download low resolution image

You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.

Creative Commons Logo