(early 16th century)

The Baptism of Christ

early 16th century
Tempera on canvas and wood, 25 x 20 cm
Pinacoteca, Vatican

At the centre of the icon, the dark, oval-shaped expanse of the waters of the Jordan serves as a background to the figure of the Messiah, forming, as it were, a dark cavity, a "liquid sepulcher" in which Christ is totally immersed. It is a prophetic image of his future burial. The arid mountains with their curiously paneled rocks serve as a background to this scene of great intensity.