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Saint John the Baptist, c. 1509-10

Pedro Fernández

Spanish, (c.1480-1521)
Oil on panel
painted surface: 62-1/4 x 21 in. (158.1 x 53.3 cm); panel: 62-1/4 x 26-3/4 in. (189.2 x 87.6 x 8.3 cm)
The Norton Simon Foundation
F.1978.02.P
© 2012 The Norton Simon Foundation

On view

Fernández traveled to North Italy from Spain around 1508. In Lombardy he came under the influence of Bramantino (c. 1465-1530), a painter fluent in the innovations of Leonardo. Fernández’s knowledge of Leonardo is apparent in the intense expression of St. John’s face, the great attention paid to the particulars of physiognomy, and in the accentuation of the shadows around the orbits of the eyes. The taste for complex drapery, dominated by large folds falling at fractured angles also recalls his North Italian experience. This panel belonged to a polyptych for the high altar of Santa Maria della Grazia a Caponapoli. The remaining portions are today in the Museo Capodimonte, Naples.

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