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The Baptism of Christ with Saints Bernardino of Siena and Francis

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The Baptism of Christ with Saints Bernardino of Siena and Francis 1552 - 1554

Not on display

This drawing is a preliminary study for the main scene in Franco’s Baptism of Christ in the Barbaro chapel in San Francesco della Vigna, Venice. Executed with a fine pen and delicate washes, the high degree of finish of this drawing suggests that he produced it during the later stages of the planning of the altarpiece. However, all of the figures underwent alterations between this sheet and the finished painting. The presence of the two Franciscan Saints (whose presence at the Baptism would have been chronologically impossible) was undoubtedly done at the request of the patron Daniele Barbaro, whose family chapel was within a Franciscan church.

Glossary Open


An artwork behind a church altar featuring religious scenes or imagery which was usually the focus for the celebration of the Mass.


The support given to artists by an individual or organisation, usually through buying or funding their work.


A transparent layer of diluted ink or watercolour.

Altarpiece, Patronage , Wash


  • Acc. No. D 1591
  • Medium Pen, brown ink and wash on paper (right bottom corner of paper added)
  • Size 18.70 x 21.50 cm
  • Credit David Laing Bequest to the Royal Scottish Academy transferred 1910