Geertgen tot Sint Jans ca. 1460/65 – ca. 1488/93

John the Baptist in the Wilderness

oil on panel (42 × 28 cm) — c. 1490 Museum Gemäldegalerie der Staatlichen Museen, Berlin

Geertgen tot Sint Jans biography

This work is linked to Luke 3:2

Also known as Saint John meditating. This is one of Geertgen's most notable works. The draping of his cloth seems to melt against the curves of the landscape.

The lamb with its aureole is the Baptist's traditional attribute, the Lamb of God that symbolizes Jesus. John is dressed in a habit made out of camel hair.

The lovely landscape may be Geertgen's depiction of the Jordan river valley, the area where John acted as prophet and where he baptised converts.

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