Pietà Altarpiece: Detail, St. John the Baptist

Castile, 15th century
Tempera and gold on wood, with engaged frame
Metropolitan Museum of Art, accession # 41.190.27

As usual, John the Baptist is pictured as described in Matthew 3:4 in a tunic of camel skin with a leather belt. It was traditional for images to add a cloak, although this is not specified in scripture.

The saint's pointing to the lamb on the book is a traditional way of referring to his declaration in John 1:29: "Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who taketh away the sin of the world." To emphasize that the lamb is Christ, this artist has given it a halo and a standard like the one Christ holds in many Resurrection images.

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Photographed at the museum by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.