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The Birth of Saint John the Baptist

A work made of wood, polychromy, and gilding.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of wood, polychromy, and gilding.


About 1525


Artist unknown
Spanish (Burgos), active 16th century

About this artwork

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.


Currently Off View


Painting and Sculpture of Europe


Artist unknown


The Birth of Saint John the Baptist


Burgos province (Object made in)

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.



Wood, polychromy, and gilding


103.5 × 99.1 cm (40 3/4 × 39 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of the Antiquarian Society

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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