Luca Scaletti, Baptism of Christ

Luca Scaletti,
Baptism of Christ

Luca Scaletti, Baptism of Christ
first half of the XVI century, wood, 310×206 cm + frame 12 cm, Inv. n. 148

In a setting with nuances of greys and blues, in the foreground we find portrayals of Christ and John the Baptist with their feet immersed in the River Jordan. Christ’s hands are joined in prayer while the Baptist raises the lustral bowl. In the middle ground to the right, two angels are holding Jesus’s garments, while to the left is a group of Jews. From above, God the Father, encircled in a band of light and clouds, observes the scene surrounded by little angels, while he sends the dove of the Holy Spirit. In the background is a fortified city that represents Jerusalem.

The work comes from the demolished church of St. John the Baptist of the Camaldolese in Faenza. This painting became a part of the Pinacoteca of Faenza collection following the Napoleonic suppression.
It was attributed to Scaletti according to the commission contract dated 29 January 1536, in which the artist is also called Figurino or Luca da Faenza.

Vasari cites him as a collaborator of Giulio Romano in Palazzo Te in Mantua between 1528 and 1538. Scaletti probably produced this work in Mantua, where he was working during the year he received this commission.

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