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The Baptism of Christ in the River Jordan

A work made of engraving in black on ivory laid paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of engraving in black on ivory laid paper.


about 1510


Lucas van Leyden
Netherlandish, c. 1494-1533

About this artwork

Lucas van Leyden’s inverted staging of Christ’s baptism differs significantly from the Martin Schongauer engraving seen nearby. While Schongauer placed the important action in front of a rocky landscape, Lucas concealed it in a forest grove, instead emphasizing the onlookers and the small child at the bottom, who gestures toward Christ. Lucas often used this pictorial device to reset expectations about the subject of his prints, lingering on the costumes and characterizations in the foreground. Here, his avoidance of haloes, heavenly hosts, and the anachronistic volume consulted by Schongauer’s John turn the baptism into a more commonplace event.


Currently Off View


Prints and Drawings


Lucas van Leyden


The Baptism of Christ in the River Jordan




Engraving in black on ivory laid paper


143 × 182 mm (image/sheet, trimmed within platemark)

Credit Line

Clarence Buckingham Collection

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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Extended information about this artwork

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