Image / The Young St. John in the Wilderness

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The Young St. John in the Wilderness
Giovanni Battista Caracciolo--Italy, about 1570-1637
Date Created and/or Issued
circa 1615
Publication Information
Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive
Contributing Institution
UC Berkeley, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
Art Collection Highlights - Images and Ideas: The Collection in Focus at the Berkeley Art Museum, University of California
Rights Information
Please contact the contributing institution for more information regarding the copyright status of this object.
Caracciolo worked in the tradition of Caravaggio (1571-1610), whose distinctive use of dramatic contrasts of shadow and light (called chiaroscuro, light/dark), compressed space, and sensuous form constituted perhaps the greatest innovation in sixteenth-century Italian painting.
Caracciolo's limited palette of deep red and dark earthen tones focuses our attention on the young St. John. The seductive immediacy of the casually posed saint asserts his physical reality rather than his divinity. Such sensuality in a religious figure would have been unthinkable a hundred years earlier.
Oil on canvas

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