Leonardo's touch in The Baptism of ChristLeonardo's touch in The Baptism of Christ

Leonardo only painted the angel and landscape.

The Face of Christ - Verrocchio
John the Baptist - Botticelli
The rocks and landscape on the right - Ghirlandaio

This picture is a typical workshop painting in Florence.
It is bigger than the imagination and the color is bright and it is the surface of the luster peculiar to tempera picture.
The hair of the angel is marvelous, but it shows an inexperienced touch.

Expert skill can be felt on the contour of the left angel's face.
Probably the sketch of the face was written by Verrochio.
Leonardo drew a part of the eyes etc.

 

 

 


 

The Baptism of Christ

Oil and tempera on poplar, 180 x 151.3 cm florence, galleria degli Uffizi

 

This picture is made of vertically six boards, three wider and three very narrow, and on the left hand side is additionally secured with four iron nails.
The panel has not been trimmed, as evident from the borders on all four sides.
There are many brush drawings of nude figures in the back. It looks like the manner of the Pollaiuolo brothers and other motifs, these bear no direct compositional relationship to the Baptism of Christ.

The head of the angel on the left and in the lower section of the painting, where the shrinking of the wood had caused the paint to flake off.
That parts were retouched when the painting was restored in 1998.
The colors of Christ's loincloth and John's cloak have greatly faded and some of areas may have been altered.

The panel was painted in at least two separate phases by two or even three different artists.
Verrocchio have started the painting in 1470 or a little later and to have executed the overall composition as well as large parts of the picture in tempera.
The underdrawing on the gesso ground, still visible in places, was entirely drawn by his hand.

After 1475-76, Leonardo reworked the angel, and also he reworked as well as the river bed and large parts of the background landscape, with the exeception of the rocks on the right .

The painting was an altarpiece commissioned by the monks of the San Salvi Church near Florence, and was later transferred to the convent of Santa Verdiana, probably in 1564, to the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence in 1810 and in 1914 to its present Uffizi.

 

 

The Uffizi Gallery Museum

 

 

The Uffizi Gallery Museum
Piazzale degli Uffizi, 50122 Firenze
Phone: +39 0552388651
Fax: +39 0552388694
Email: direzione.uffizi@polomuseale.firenze.it