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The Youthful Saint John the Baptist in the Desert
Mengs, Anton Raphael
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Mengs, Anton Raphael

Aussig (Czech Republic), 1728 - Rome (Italy), 1779

Mengs, Anton Raphael See author's file

The Youthful Saint John the Baptist in the Desert

1753 - 1754. Oil on panel.
Room 089

Painted with remarkable delicacy, probably from life, in this panel Mengs captures the artless fascination with which the saint presents to the world the message of the Redeemer’s arrival, inscribed on the scroll. The figure’s soft luminosity reveals the influence of Correggio (1493-1534), which was decisive for the early years of Mengs’s Roman period.


Technical data

Inventory number
Mengs, Anton Raphael
The Youthful Saint John the Baptist in the Desert
1753 - 1754
Height: 33.8 cm; Width: 44.8 cm
Joseph Turner, dean of Norwich Cathedral (1746/47-1828); maybe his son, William Hamilton Turner (?); sold at Christie's, London, 9-12-1994, (lot 94); Óscar Alzaga Villaamil Collection, Madrid; donation of Óscar Alzaga Villaamil to the Prado Museum, 2017

Bibliography +

Important old master pictures, including pictures from Houghton, Christie, Manson and Woods, Londres, 1994, pp. 174, lote 94.

Roettgen, S., Anton Raphael Mengs, 1728-1779, Hirmer Verlag, Munich, 1999, pp. 128, nº 80.

Maurer, Gudrun, 'Antón Rafael Mengs. San Juan Bautista joven, en el desierto'. En:, La donación Oscar Alzaga, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2017, pp. 40-43 nº 5.

Maurer, Gudrun, "San Juan Bautista joven en el desierto, h. 1753", en Memoria de actividades 2017, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2018, pp. 106-108.

Other inventories +

Inv. Nuevas Adquisiciones (iniciado en 1856). Núm. 2946.

Exhibitions +

The Óscar Alzaga Donation
07.11.2017 - 25.06.2018

Location +

Room 089 (On Display)


Displayed objects +


Update date: 07-07-2022 | Registry created on 19-09-2017

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