SCOREL, Jan van
(b. 1495, Schoorl, d. 1562, Utrecht)

The Baptism of Christ

c. 1530
Oil on panel, 121 x 157 cm
Frans Halsmuseum, Haarlem

Christ being baptised in the river Jordan by St John the Baptist. The Holy Ghost appears in the form of a radiant dove. For this painting Van Scorel drew on elements from works by Raphael and other Italian Renaissance artists. He had travelled in Italy.

The picture is a superior example of the assimilation of the new Italian conception in Netherlandish painting. In it several motives, functionally quite distinct, are brought together, and they are brought together as they should be: within a clear, realistic space, and answering to aesthetic requirements developed in Renaissance art theory, such as grace and visual variety.