The Baptism of Christ

Jacopo Bassano (Jacopo da Ponte) Italian

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 608

This extraordinary altarpiece—deeply expressive and almost unique in showing the baptism of Christ as a noc-turne—is the last known work by Bassano. The great Venetian painter left it unfinished at his death in 1592, and his heirs retained it for more than a century. To some eyes, the painting’s unfinished (non finito) style seems a crucial step toward modernism, to be compared with, for example, Goya’s “black paintings.” Bassano interprets the baptism of Christ not as a sunny event in a pastoral landscape, but as the tragic opening of his Passion.

#5218. The Baptism of Christ

The Baptism of Christ, Jacopo Bassano (Jacopo da Ponte) (Italian, Bassano del Grappa ca. 1510–1592 Bassano del Grappa), Oil on canvas

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