Pietro Perugino 1450 – 1523

The Baptism of Christ

fresco (335 × 540 cm) — c. 1482 Museum Sistine Chapel, Vatican City

This work is linked to Mark 1:9

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Seen from left to right this is the first fresco on the northern wall of the Sistine Chapel. Perugino here worked with Pinturicchio. It is assumed that the latter is responsible for the landscape in the background.

Actually two scenes are depicted: to the right, John the Baptist is seen preaching.

On the opposite wall Perugino painted the scene with the circumcision of Moses' son. Baptism and circumcision are both initiation rituals. Perhaps someone wanted to suggest a contraposition: the spiritual christian belief versus the blood-drenched jewish.

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