The Baptism of Christ

Polyptych, tempera and gilt on wood 240 x 249 cm. Dubrovnik, 1448.

The polyptych was commissioned in 1448 from Lovre Dobričević and Matko Junčić of Kotor. It cost 45 ducats and was intended for the main altar in the Dominican monastery. It appears that the artists split the commissioned work in two; Junčić being perhaps responsible for the beautifully carved wooden frame, while Dobričević painted the figures. In the middle of the lower row, there is a picture of Christ’s baptism in the river Jordan; on his right there are St. Nicholas and St. Michael, and on his left St. Blaise and St. Stephen. In the upper row there are the half-figures of the Virgin and Child, in the middle, and St. Dominic, St. Peter Martyr, and St. Peter Apostle, St. Francis, left and right. The pictures on the predella have deteriorated and the scene of Christ’s baptism was damaged, so Christ’s head and part of His upper body were repainted during one of the renovations.

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