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Saint John the Baptist Pointing to Christ

A work made of oil on canvas.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of oil on canvas.


c. 1655


Bartolomé Estéban Murillo
Spanish, 1617–1682

About this artwork

This is one of four large canvases devoted to the life of Saint John the Baptist that Bartolomé Esteban Murillo painted for the convent of San Leandro in his native Seville, Spain. Inscriptions from the gospels of John and Luke, accompanied by the animal symbols of these evangelists, float in the sky and attest to the Baptist’s role in preparing the way for Christ. When he painted this series, Murillo was transitioning away from the hard edges and dramatic shading, called chiaroscuro, inspired by Francisco de Zurbarán toward softer, more vaporous effects.


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Painting and Sculpture of Europe


Bartolomé Estéban Murillo


Saint John the Baptist Pointing to Christ


Spain (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Oil on canvas


270.2 × 184.5 cm (106 3/8 × 72 5/8 in.)

Credit Line

Louise B. and Frank H. Woods Purchase Fund

Reference Number


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