San Juan Bautista señalando a Cristo (c.1655)

Murillo, Bartolomé Esteban (1617-1682)

San Juan Bautista señalando a Cristo (Saint John the Baptist Pointing to Christ)
Oil on canvas, 270.2 × 184.5 cm
Art Institute of ChicagoChicago

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. (AIC)