Vincent de Kastav, The Baptism of Christ


1474
Fresco
St. Mary's Church, Beram, Croatia

We took photographs of the left, right, upper, and lower parts of the fresco but not of the whole.

The dove of course represents the Holy Spirit, whose union with the Son is reflected in the crossed halo, which is given only to the three persons of the Trinity. In the Gospels the Spirit descends on Jesus after the baptism (Matthew 3:16, Mark 1:10), but in this image it arrival is shown as simultaneous with the pouring of the water. This may reflect the traditional theology that water baptism is only completed when a bishop imparts the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands. (Catechism, ¶¶1286-92). Texts on which this theology is based include John 3:5 ("unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God") and Hebrews 6:2 ("of the doctrine of baptisms, and imposition of hands").

The photograph on the left in full resolution
The photograph on the right in full resolution
Also available: full-resolution photographs of upper and lower areas of the fresco.

More of the Baptism of Christ

Photographed at the church by Claire Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.