The Baptism of Christ

Jacopo Bassano (Jacopo da Ponte) Italian

Not on view

This unusual, haunting nocturnal altarpiece depicting the Baptism was left unfinished in the artist's studio at his death in 1592. Contemporaries described it as "sketched in" and "incomplete," as is evident in the peripheral areas, such as the barely described lamb (associated with John the Baptist) in the lower right corner. Yet the figures that are the emotional core of the scene have been built up with many layers of paint and surely represent Bassano's intention to convey the idea that the Baptism could be thought of as the beginning of Christ's Passion. Bassano and Titian knew each other, and both developed innovative techniques at the end of their careers with results that seem open and unresolved rather than highly finished.

#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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