Vatican News

Vatican Museums: Come, let us worship #11

“The depiction of Jesus’ birth is itself a simple and joyful proclamation of the mystery of the Incarnation of the Son of God.” These words of Pope Francis recall how the birth of Jesus has inspired generations of artists throughout history to evangelize through beauty. Every week the Vatican Museums and Vatican News offer a masterpiece from the pontifical collections, which are accompanied with a reflection from the Popes.

Icon of the Baptism of Christ. Baptism of Christ, Russian school (15th-16th century), tempera on poplar with metal plating applied © Musei Vaticani

In this icon of the Russian tradition, the Baptism is represented according to Byzantine canons, but with essential traits. Jesus, nude in the Jordan River amid large rocks, dominates the scene, while John the Baptist places a hand on Jesus’ head and three angels await on the right to dress Him. Metal coverings highlight the halos and the central part of the background, on which is seen the ray of the Holy Spirit.

© Musei Vaticani
© Musei Vaticani

“In Baptism every Christian personally meets Him; he is inserted into the mystery of Christ's death and resurrection and receives a new life, which is the life of God. What a great gift and what a great responsibility!”

(Pope St. John Paul II, Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, 2003)

Under the direction of Paolo Ondarza
#BeautyThatUnites
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10 January 2021, 09:00