Baptism of Christ - Piero della Francesca. C. 1450
The baptismal scene was written for the abbey of San Giovanni Battista in the hometown of Piero della Francesca Borgo San Sepolcro, Urbino, probably around 1450. The two central figures - Christ and John the Baptist, above which the dove soars, the Holy Spirit - are different from other characters in their solemn stillness, emphasizing the extreme importance of what is happening.
Geometric proportions typical of the artist and light-saturated tones are manifested in the monumental figures of three observing angels, who in traditional interpretations of this plot, as a rule, wear Christ's robes at the moment when he enters the Jordan River. A group of Jewish priests in dark clothes contrasts with the light figures of angels, located behind a strikingly pale man awaiting baptism and taking off his shirt. The sky, which is reflected in still water, enhances the harmony of the whole scene.
EPIPHANY. At the age of about 30, Christ was baptized by st. John the Baptist.
ST JOHN THE BAPTIST. John was a cousin of Jesus and the son of the priest Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth. His miraculous birth and life is described in the Gospel of St. Bows. When John grew up, he preached in the wilderness that the kingdom of heaven was near. He baptized many people, proclaiming: "The Strongest of me is coming." John the Baptist is the most common saint in Renaissance painting.