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The Preaching of Saint John the Baptist
Cornelis van Haarlem

In the New Testament, all the gospel accounts (e.g. Matthew 3: 1-12) describe Saint John the Baptist preaching in the Jordan valley to large crowds from Jerusalem and the surrounding countryside. However, the Flemish-style landscape setting here is more reminiscent of Northern Europe than of the Near East of biblical times. Saint John the Baptist is the small figure in the centre background.

This subject was often treated by Netherlandish painters of the 16th and 17th centuries and its popularity may reflect the contemporary debate about open-air sermons by Calvinist preachers.

Key facts
Artist Cornelis van Haarlem
Artist dates 1562 - 1638
Full title The Preaching of Saint John the Baptist
Date made 1602
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 100 x 180 cm
Inscription summary Signed; Dated
Acquisition credit Bought, 1978
Inventory number NG6443
Location in Gallery Not on display
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