muscular figure kneeling with head resting on a block; hands clasped in front of block

Saint John the Baptist Prepared for Decapitation, 17th century

Attributed to Mattia Preti

Red chalk

Bequest of Professor Alfred Moir 2012.58.36

Not on View

In this exquisite red chalk rendering of John the Baptist, the artist (thought to be Mattia Preti) presents a poignant and highly personal interpretation of the prophet's final moments before his murder by beheading. Above all, the drawing emphasizes the saint's humanity and vulnerability in the face of an unspeakably heinous act of violence.

Image: Public Domain. Bequest of Professor Alfred Moir

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