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Saint Zeno, Saint John the Baptist and a Female Martyr
Bartolomeo Montagna
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Saint John the Baptist is shown between Saint Zeno, the fourth-century Bishop of Verona, and a female saint. Because of the finery of her clothing and her long flowing hair, she may be Saint Catherine, who was a princess from Alexandria. However, the saint is usually shown with the spiked wheel used in her torture, so it is difficult to be sure.

Saint John carries a fine reed cross, a symbol of Christ’s crucifixion. The scroll curled around it is inscribed in Latin with the words he spoke about Christ when he was preaching in the wilderness (John 1: 29, 36): ECCE AGNVS (‘Behold the Lamb’).

The picture is in poor condition, partly because the paint surface has been transferred from the wooden panel on which it was painted to canvas.

Key facts
Artist Bartolomeo Montagna
Artist dates living 1459; died 1523
Full title Saint Zeno, Saint John the Baptist and a Female Martyr
Date made probably about 1495
Medium and support Oil on canvas, transferred from wood
Dimensions 102.9 x 141 cm
Inscription summary Signed; Inscribed
Acquisition credit Layard Bequest, 1916
Inventory number NG3074
Location in Gallery Not on display
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