(b. 1571, Caravaggio, d. 1610, Porto Ercole)

St John the Baptist

Oil on canvas, 159 x 124 cm
Galleria Borghese, Rome

The painting was executed during the last days of Caravaggio's stay in Naples, together with the Martyrdom of St Ursula.

A comparison can be made between the young St John in the Galleria Borghese in Rome and the paintings of the same subject in Kansas City and in the Galleria Nazionale di Arte Antica in Rome. The Borghese St John is the most soberly thoughtful. The body is delicate and the expression is dreamy, so much so as to suggest a considerable distance in time from the other two.