John the Baptist recognizes Christ by the appearance of a dove, from a Mirror of Holiness (Mir’at al-quds) of Father Jerome Xavier

John the Baptist recognizes Christ by the appearance of a dove, from a Mirror of Holiness (Mir’at al-quds) of Father Jerome Xavier

1602-04

Part of a set. See all set records

Opaque watercolor, ink, color and gold on paper

Sheet: 26.3 x 15.7 cm (10 3/8 x 6 3/16 in.); Image: 22.5 x 10.9 cm (8 7/8 x 4 5/16 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 2005.145.50.b

Fun Fact

Jesus holds a rosary with a cross even in scenes prior to his crucifixion.

Description

This scene of John the Baptist’s recognition of Jesus is set in a lavishly decorated Mughal courtyard. The artist has closely followed Father Jerome’s text, which tells of the Holy Spirit taking the form of a dove that sits atop Jesus’s head, rather than the text of the Gospels, which describes the dove as hovering in the air. John wears the black robes of a Jesuit, garb that in the context of the Mughal court identifies him as a teacher. He points to an open book to acknowledge the fulfillment of the prophecy of the Messiah, and in recognition of the Word of God.

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