About This Artwork

Spanish, Burgos

The Birth of Saint John the Baptist, c. 1525

Wood, polychromy, and gilding
103.5 x 99.1 cm (40 3/4 x 39 in.)

Gift of the Antiquarian Society, 1909.121

This polychromed and gilded relief was probably once part of a large carved altarpiece with scenes from the life of Saint John the Baptist. The tightly swaddled infant Baptist is the center of attention as he is passed between his mother, Saint Elizabeth, and a kneeling attendant. The well-preserved relief combines, a riot of rich colors and pattern in the treatment of fabrics with figures that show a Renaissance impulse towards volume and weight. It reflects the influence of the sculptors Felipe Vigarny and Diego de Siloe, who worked together in Burgos in the early 1520s; the relief may have been made in the region of Burgos.

— Permanent collection label

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