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The Baptism of the Eunuch

Salvator Rosaca.1660

Chrysler Museum of Art

Chrysler Museum of Art

Baroque artists infused high drama into even minor Bible stories. In this scene, the evangelist Philip is converting an Ethiopian official whom he met while travelling to Gaza (Acts 8:26–39). Amid raised arms and glinting light, Philip baptizes the Ethiopian, who bows humbly at his feet. Many viewers would have seen the convert’s turban and golden cloak as exotic—features that emphasized the Catholic Church’s new enthusiasm for proselytizing to the entire world.

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Details

  • Title: The Baptism of the Eunuch
  • Creator: Salvator Rosa
  • Date: ca.1660
  • Location Created: Rome, Italy
  • Provenance: Monsignor Giovanni Battista Costaguti, Rome, ca. 1660-1704; Humphrey Morice, Lord Warden, Esq. at the Grove near Chiswick, Middlesex, by 1786; Second Earl of Ashburnham, England, 1786-1812; Earl of Ashburnham, 1812-1850; Lady Catherine Ashburnham, 1953; Sale, Sotheby's, London, June 24, 1953; Gift of Walter P. Chrysler, Jr., 1971.
  • Physical Dimensions: 79 x 48 in. (200.7 x 121.9 cm)
  • Credit Line: Gift of Walter P. Chrysler, Jr.
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil on canvas

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