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Description

Copperplate engraving.

Extracted out of Sacred Scripture and writings of the Fathers ... Illustrated with sculptures ; aptly and acurately delineated and engraven by good artists…

Printed for and sold by Richard Blome, a well-known bookseller of his day, Blome was known for raising money from subscribers to produce his books. According to biographers he may have resorted to trickery in order to procure money from wealthy noblemen. Each illustrated plate in this book is dedicated to a different patron. This plate shown reads:

"The Honourable Juliana, wife of Charles Boyle, Esq., eldest son of ye Rt. Honourable ye Lord Clifford, son and heyre to ye Rt. Honourable ye Earle of Burlington & c. For advancement of this worke. Contributed to this plate."

The first two plates of this book are dedicated to “The King” and “The Queen,” who at that time were King William III and Queen Mary II (crowned 1689). The engravings are by Dutch artist Jan Kip after designs by G. Freeman, an English artist.

Analysis

This Baroque period engraving portrays Jesus being baptized by John. John stands on the bank of the Jordan River. The Jordan appears no larger than a stream here, and Jesus seems to stand atop of the water. Jesus is depicted with his arms crossed and his hands on his heart. He is naked except for a cloth around his waist. John pours the water from a bowl with his right hand, and holds a staff in the form of a cross with a banner. Above them, in a ray of light from the sky, is a white dove, symbolic of the Holy Spirit. On the opposite bank of the river are two figures drying themselves. We might assume that these two people were among the group of people that John baptized before Jesus. The figure in the front is witness to the baptism.

Rights

Artwork in the public domain

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