2.105 St John the Baptist
Wood, egg tempera, 54.5 x 32.5 cm
The Baptist is portrayed from the waist up with wings, according to an iconographical type established by the Cretan painters of the fifteenth century. He wears an orange-red sheepskin and an olive-green himation with gold highlights, gives a blessing with his right hand, and holds in his left a basin containing his own severed head. The modelling of the face is painterly and soft, with wrinkles that are more decorative than realistic.
On the olive-green ground is an inscription with his name - 'St John the Forerunner' - and below his right arm the date 1747.
This robust figure with its obvious allusions to earlier models nonetheless moves away from the Byzantine approach to painting and reveals the characteristics that would be continued by the painters of the nineteenth century.