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A Flemish artist who spent most of his career in Naples, De Somer joined the studio of Jusepe de Ribera – the leading Spanish artist in the city at the time – in 1624. After 1640 he adopted a more Venetian style, to which this painting belongs.

John, described in the Gospels, is both a Christian saint and a last prophet of the Old Testament. He lived in the desert, preaching the word of God and baptising penitents in the River Jordan. The lamb, John’s attribute, alludes to the fact that he called Jesus ‘the Lamb of God’.

York Art Gallery



Saint John the Baptist




oil on canvas


H 168 x W 122 cm

Accession number

YORAG : 1024

Acquisition method

purchased with the assistance of a special grant from the York Corporation, 1962

Work type


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York Art Gallery

Exhibition Square, York, North Yorkshire YO1 7EW England

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