The Baptism of Christ: Predella Panel

Saint John the Baptist baptises Christ in the river Jordan. God the Father and the Holy Ghost in the form of a dove are depicted above; angels attend on either side. New Testament (all Gospels e.g. Matthew 3: 13-17).

The composition for this panel follows that of Ghiberti's 'Baptism' on the font of the Baptistery, Siena (1425-7).

This is probably the central part of a predella of an altarpiece showing scenes from the life of Saint John the Baptist; three other panels in the collection come from the same predella: 'The Birth of Saint John the Baptist', 'Saint John the Baptist retiring to the Desert' and 'The Head of John the Baptist brought to Herod'. The panels have been associated with an altarpiece dated 1454 of the 'Virgin and Child with Saints' (New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art) which includes Saint John the Baptist.

Key facts

Artist dates
active by 1417; died 1482
Full title
The Baptism of Christ: Predella Panel
Date made
Medium and support
Egg tempera on wood
31 x 45 cm
Acquisition credit
Bought with a contribution from the Art Fund, 1944
Inventory number
Location in Gallery

Other paintings in the group: Baptist Predella