The Baptism of Christ

7:00 AM

Perugino, Baptism of Christ, 1482

Perugino's The Baptism of Christ, a fresco composed in 1482 in the Sistine Chapel in Rome, is definitely a captivating one. Why is Jesus in several places at once? Why is God surrounded by floating baby heads? This painting along with Delivery of the keys are my favorite of Perugino's paintings for their intricate detail, depth, and emotion.

This scene follows Perugino's typical symmetrical pattern. St. John is baptizing Jesus in the front. Above Jesus's head is a dove symbolizing the holy spirit. Rome is shown in the background with the Colosseum and Pantheon. Also seen in the background is John preaching to the crowd, and on the opposite wall, the circumcision of Moses. Perugino uses good perspective in this painting and his figures are weighty and full of emotion and depth in the facial expressions. Despite the many number of figures in this painting, Perugino still manages to keep it balanced and not chaotic.

The floating baby heads and God, however, still  remain a mystery.

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