St. John the Baptist icon

Unknown18th century

Maryhill Museum of Art

Maryhill Museum of Art
Goldendale, United States

In the Gospel of St. Luke, Jesus tells his disciples that, “among those born of women there is not a greater prophet” than St. John the Baptist (also known as St. John the Forerunner). In Orthodox icons, St. John is usually shown with angels’ wings, a hair garment and a green cloak. He is generally emaciated—a result of his ascetic life. In this image, the saint points to the infant Christ in a gold chalice while holding a scroll that reads, “I saw and have borne witness; this is the Lamb of God.” Six scenes from the saint’s life surround the central figure. Clockwise from lower left are the birth of St. John, St. John baptizing in the Jordan, St. John praying in the wilderness, an angel guiding St. John into the wilderness, the finding of the head of St. John and the beheading of St. John.


  • Title: St. John the Baptist icon
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Creator Lifespan: active 18th century
  • Creator Nationality: Russian
  • Creator Gender: Male
  • Creator Death Place: Russia
  • Creator Birth Place: Russia
  • Date: 18th century
  • Location: Russia
  • Physical Dimensions: w17⅜ x h20⅞ in (complete)
  • Media: egg tempera on wood
  • Credit Line: Gift of Marie, Queen of Romania
  • Provenance: Collection of Maryhill Museum of Art
  • Type: Devotional image
  • Rights: http://www.maryhillmuseum.org/discover/about-maryhill-museum-of-art/press-room/images-for-publication

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