About this artwork

This image represents John the Baptist whom Christians believe to have been the last Old Testament prophet. A stately green cloak covers his original costume – the ascetic camel hair tunic that he wore when preaching the doctrine of baptism on the banks of the Jordan. As was customary in medieval images he points to the Messiah with his right index finger. In the book that rests on his knees we make out the word CONSOLAMINI (take comfort) which begins a prophecy in the book of Isaiah that was interpreted in the gospel as a reference to John the Baptist.

About the artist

Jan van Eyck was born around 1400 in the Limburg town of Maaseik. Around 1432 he settled in Bruges. There he had, until his death in 1441, a studio with a large number of employees. Van Eyck's representation of light and its effects on the visible world represented a fundamental innovation in art. He was the first to succeed in convincingly evoking a tangible reality in painting.More about Jan Van Eyck

About the collection

In addition to the most important masterpiece of Flemish painting, the "Adoration of the Lamb of God" by the brothers Jan and Hubrecht Van Eyck, there are still many art treasures worth a visit.More about Sint-Baafskathedraal Gent

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