Matthias Grünewald ca. 1480 – 1528

John the Baptist

oil on panel — 1510-1515 Museum Unterlinden Museum, Colmar

Matthias Grünewald biography

This work is linked to John 3:30

Part of the Isenheim Altarpiece, Grünewald's magnum opus.

The text in Latin is from John 3:30: "Illum oportet crescere, me autem minui" (He must increase, but I must decrease).

John the Baptist had already been killed when Christ was crucified, so his presence in this scene with the crucifixion must be symbolic. He was probably chosen as he was the last prophet that announced the coming of the Messiah.

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