Dose of Art #165: Ercole de’ Roberti – St John the Baptist (c. 1478-1480)

We saw De’ Roberti’s Saint Jerome a couple of days ago. This is another sain; John the Baptist. At the end of the 15 century, most paintings were commissioned by the church and thus had a religious theme.

The (black) line in the foreground, make the background seem like a backdrop. This is accentuated by the change in colour from the yellow of the bottom to the peach of the backdrop. St. John himself looks emaciated; with his thin legs and arms and the expression on his face he doesn’t look healthy at all. Like with most painting the longer you look, the more you notice. The green and red of the cloth may not be very bright (it may have been 500 years ago) but they contrast sharply with the surrounding monotone colours. And look at those detailed toes and sandals he wears. It is a pity that most of the works of De’ Roberti are lost with only a few of them remaining.