Saint John the Baptist Bearing Witness

Annibale Carracci Italian

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 620

Among his innovations, Annibale launched the vogue for landscapes in which nature was carefully studied but transformed by the imagination into an idyllic setting for religious or mythological stories. The main figure’s large almond eyes derive from the study of ancient sculpture. Annibale’s painting depicts John heralding the arrival of Christ, to whom he points and whom he will baptize the next day. This beautifully preserved oil on copper has been part of several illustrious collections, including the Farnese family’s in Parma and the Orléans collection in Paris.

Saint John the Baptist Bearing Witness, Annibale Carracci (Italian, Bologna 1560–1609 Rome), Oil on copper

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