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The Baptism of Christ

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.

Date:

1480/90

Artist:

Martin Schongauer
German, c. 1430/50-1491

About this artwork

This luminous engraving depicts Christ being baptized by his cousin Saint John the Baptist in the River Jordan. The scene is sparsely populated; the only witnesses are God the Father, visible in a cloud, and an angel holding dry clothes for Christ’s later use. John clasps an elegantly bound volume, anachronistically referring to baptism as a sacramental rite of the Christian faith. Here John touches Christ’s forehead with two fingers, rather than pouring water over his head from his cupped hands. This distinction suggests that Schongauer’s print shows John anointing Christ with oil in the final part of the baptism ceremony.

Status

Currently Off View

Department

Prints and Drawings

Artist

Martin Schongauer

Title

The Baptism of Christ

Origin

Germany

Date

Made 1475–1495

Medium

Engraving in black on ivory laid paper

Dimensions

156 × 158 mm (plate/sheet)

Credit Line

Bequest of Mrs. Potter Palmer, Jr.

Reference Number

1956.857

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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https://api.artic.edu/api/v1/artworks/3827/manifest.json

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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