About this artwork

The infant Saint John, who spent much of his life in isolation in the wilderness, is shown filling a bowl at a spring, accompanied by his traditional attributes, the lamb and the long reed cross. This picture is described by the biographer of Bolognese artists, Count Carlo Cesare Malvasia, as having been painted for an unnamed Florentine ‘Cavaliere’ the year before Sirani died. It was acquired in Florence from the noble Gerini family for the Royal Institution, Edinburgh, in 1831. The daughter of the painter Giovanni Andrea Sirani, Elisabetta was one of the most successful women artists of the seventeenth century whose career was cut tragically short by her premature death.

Updated March 2022

  • artist:
    Elisabetta SiraniItalian (1638 - 1665)
  • title:
    The Infant Saint John the Baptist in the Wilderness
  • date created:
    Dated 1664
  • materials:
    Oil on canvas
  • measurements:
    75.50 x 62.00 cm; Framed: 95.00 x 72.90 x 4.50 cm
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    Purchased by the RI 1831; transferred 1859
  • accession number:
    NG 79
  • gallery:
  • glossary:
Does this text contain inaccurate information or language that you feel we should improve or change? Tell us what you think.

Elisabetta Sirani

Elisabetta Sirani