Christ in the Wilderness

Moretto da Brescia (Alessandro Bonvicino) Italian

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 611

According to biblical text, following his baptism, Christ was led into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit, where he fasted for forty days and was "tested by Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him" (Mark 1:13). Moretto imagines Christ steeped in introspective calm, remarkably unfazed as animals mill around him, angels fuss overhead, and a small dragon or basilisk creeps at his feet. This picture is a fragment; at some point someone cut it down at the left and top. To make this less conspicuous, the angels and cherubim were painted over, only to be uncovered more recently by conservators.

Christ in the Wilderness, Moretto da Brescia (Alessandro Bonvicino) (Italian, Brescia ca. 1498–1554 Brescia), Oil on canvas

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