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image SG102

Saint John the Baptist preaching in the wilderness, stained glass panel, after Maarten van Heemskerck, Netherlandish, c.1600

Clear glass with black and brown paint

Height: 265mm
Width: 210mm

Museum number: SG102

Curatorial note

St John, a towering figure dressed in skins, stands prominently at the centre of the composition. He looks to his left, gesturing with arms wide open, a lamb by his left side. A stream leads away to a group of vertical boulders before which three elders sit upright. Men, women and children recline in the foreground. A distant bridge and trees can be seen at the far left.

The panel is after Maarten van Heemskerck. Compared with the print (where he faces right), the figure of St John is reversed. A distant vision of Christ to the left, to which John points in the original print, has been omitted and this may explain the change of posture. The surrounding figures are complete, including the children. The rocks depicted in the background are also borrowed from the print. A.E. Popham gave this panel a date of 1570-80.

Literature

The New Hollstein, Dutch and Flemish Etchings Engravings and Woodcuts 1450-1700. Rotterdam: Sound and Vision Publishers, 1993–1994, 309
A. E. Popham’s comments are MS notes in pencil held at Sir John Soane’s Museum, c. 1930
Catalogue of the Stained Glass in Sir John Soane's Museum, Special Issue of the Journal of Stained Glass 2004, p. 233


If you have any further information about this object, please contact us: worksofart@soane.org.uk