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Gum tempera, ink, and gold on paper
Sheet: 26.3 x 15.7 cm (10 3/8 x 6 3/16 in.); Image: 22.5 x 10.9 cm (8 7/8 x 4 5/16 in.)
John L. Severance Fund 2005.145.50.b
Jesus holds a rosary with a cross even in scenes prior to his crucifixion.
This scene of John the Baptist’s recognition of Jesus is set in a lavishly decorated Mughal courtyard. The artist has closely followed Father Jerome’s text, which tells of the Holy Spirit taking the form of a dove that sits atop Jesus’s head, rather than the text of the Gospels, which describes the dove as hovering in the air. John wears the black robes of a Jesuit, garb that in the context of the Mughal court identifies him as a teacher. He points to an open book to acknowledge the fulfillment of the prophecy of the Messiah, and in recognition of the Word of God.
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