Christ blessing Saint John the Baptist

Although the narrative incident of Christ blessing Saint John is not included in the Gospels, it is presumably based on Matthew: 'Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptised of him. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptised of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness.' New Testament (Matthew 3: 13-15).

This is probably a fragment of a larger picture, and is an early work. The subject is highly unusual. A similar landscape composition showing Christ in the Wilderness is in the Metropolitan Museum, New York.

Key facts

Artist dates
about 1498 - 1554
Full title
Christ blessing Saint John the Baptist
Date made
about 1520-3
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
66.9 x 94.7 cm
Acquisition credit
Layard Bequest, 1916
Inventory number
Location in Gallery