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Leonardo da Vinci: St John in the Wilderness

Leonardo da Vinci 1452 – 1519

St John in the Wilderness

oil on panel (115 × 177 cm) — 1510-1515 Museum Musée du Louvre, Paris

Leonardo da Vinci biography

This work is linked to John 1:15

John the Baptist sits in the wilderness. With his left arm he holds a staaf. His right hand points to heaven, perhaps to indicate that baptism is the first step to the kingdom of heaven.

On John's head is a laurel wreath and with his left hand he holds a bunch of grapes. These attributes may have been added later to change John into Bacchus, the god of wine.

The painting was probably not made by the master himself but by one of his students in his workshop, Francesco Melzi. It was later transfered from panel to canvas.

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Title: Leonardo da Vinci: St John in the Wilderness
Author / citation: here
First published: 27 September 2005
Last modified: 14 March 2010