Jacopo da Ponte, called Bassano
Bassano del Grappa, Vicenza, ca. 1510-92
St. John the Baptist, ca. 1545
Oil on canvas.
This is a fragment of a larger work. The Baptistís truncated gesture, pointing left while he looks toward the viewer, is conspicuous, but an interrupted horizontal branch and a slight curve of the dark blue drapery are also evident along the left edge. These elements suggest that the original composition would have continued with the Madonna and Child under a thatched structure, and to their left, in the arrangement typical of such scenes, another saint responding to their presence. Such rustic setting of a traditional devotional subject with an unusually forceful figure, rich color, and warm light, identifies this painting as a work of Bassanoís early maturity.