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Saint John the Baptist in the Desert
Goya y Lucientes, Francisco de
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Goya y Lucientes, Francisco de

Fuendetodos, Zaragoza, 1746 - Burdeos, Francia, 1828

Miniatura autor

Saint John the Baptist in the Desert

1810 - 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.


Technical data

Inventory number
Goya y Lucientes, Francisco de
Saint John the Baptist in the Desert
1810 - 1812
High/Height: 112 cm.; Width: 82 cm.
Francisco de Goya, Madrid, 1812. Francisco Javier de Goya, 1812. Pereire Collection, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 30.1.1868. Étienne Arago, Paris, before 1872 (?). Luca Baroni Gallery, London, 2000. Acquisition for the Prado Museum, 2003

Bibliography +

Mena Marqués, Manuela B., Goya, pintor Religioso. Tres cuadros inéditos, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2003, pp. 47-55.

Mena Marqués, Manuela B., ''Francisco de Goya (1746-1828). San Juan Bautista niño, en el desierto (c. 1808)'', en VV. AA.: Museo del Prado. Memoria de actividades, informes y datos estadísticos, 2003, Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte y Secretaría de Estado de Cultura, Madrid:, 2004, pp. 42.

Mena Marqués, Manuela B., ''San Juan Bautista niño, en el desierto'', en Mena Marqués, M. B., Maurer, G. y otros, Goya en tiempos de guerra, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid:, 2008, pp. 238, n. 55.

Albarrán Martín, V., ''San Juan Bautista niño en el desierto / Young Saint John the Baptist in the Desert'', en Matilla, J. M.; Mena Marqués, M. B. y Murakami, H. (dir.): Goya. Luces y Sombras. Obras Maestras del Museo del Prado, The Yomiuri Shimbun, Tokio:, 2011, pp. 242, n. 94.

Albarrán Martín, V., ''San Juan Bautista niño en el desierto, h. 1808-12'', en Matilla,J. M. y Mena, M. B. (dir.): Goya. Luces y Sombras, Fundación 'la Caixa', Barcelona:, 2012, pp. 248-249, n. 69.

Ilchman, F, 'Other worlds, other states. Christian devotion' En:, Goya: Order & Disorder, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 2014, pp. 232-241 [235 n.154].

Other inventories +

Inv. Nuevas Adquisiciones (desde 1856). Núm. 2644.

Exhibitions +

Goya: Order and Disorder
04.10.2014 - 19.01.2015

Goya. Light and Shade
CaixaForum Barcelona
16.03.2012 - 24.06.2012

Luces y Sombras. Barcelona
15.03.2012 - 24.06.2012

Luces y Sombras
22.10.2011 - 29.01.2012

Goya. Light and Shade
22.10.2011 - 29.01.2012

Goya in Times of War
15.04.2008 - 13.07.2008

Location +

Room 038 (On Display)

Update date: 22-09-2016 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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