Saint John the Baptist in the Desert1810 - 1812. Oil on canvas, 112 x 82 cm.
Goya depicts Saint John as an adolescent, holding his traditional attributes: a cross whose banner reads “Lamb of God.” The artist places him on a boulder, looking up and thinking about Christ´s future Passion. This is an original conception of a religious subject that was quite frequent in Spain beginning with the Baroque painters. The color scheme, which is exceptionally vivid, as well as the drawing, which can even be seen beside the black areas that have not lost their volume, are examples of this work´s perfect state of conservation, which was the result of Goya´s abstract and confident technique at the end of the first decade of the nineteenth century. It is listed in the inventory of Goya and his wife´s belongings carried out in October, 1812.