During the 17th century, there was a renewed boom for the cult of Johns' saints (Evangelist and Baptist), especially in convents, that frequently devoted an altarpiece to each of them. This John the Baptist was made by Alonso Cano during his Seville period for the church of San Juan de la Palma. The oval faces, almond-shaped eyes, straight hair and the absorbed and melancholic glance, that seem to hold a deep inside world, are one of his most unique features, clearly noticeable in this Saint John. Sitting on some rocks, he has an adolescent body of classical beauty and an absorbed expression, creating a much imitated archetype. He extends his announcing right hand, like following a silent reasoning, while he caresses and sadly looks at the lamb that climbs onto his lap with a naturalness that seems to redeem it from his role, which it has as symbolic tribute that symbolizes the sacrifice of Christ's Passion. The beauty of the modeled anatomy, the softness of the animal's skin that covers part of his body, the balance in the stance and the calm he irradiates, all features that are more an artistic than a religious concern, make this work one of the most beautiful the Museum has. The reflection of the great naturalism achieved in Baroque works are also the beautiful polychromy of the skin -where we can see the different nuances of the color of the cheeks-, the sinking of the bones, the incipient beard, the faint blue of the veins and the thin hairs of the temples


  • Title: Saint John the Baptist
  • Creator Lifespan: 1601 - 1667
  • Creator Nationality: Spanish
  • Creator Gender: Male
  • Creator Death Place: Granada
  • Creator Birth Place: Granada
  • Date Created: 1634
  • place of origin: Sevilla
  • Physical Dimensions: w79 x h119 x d89 cm
  • Esculptor: Alonso Cano
  • Type: Esculpture
  • External Link: CERES

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