Simone Martini (about 1284 – 1344)

Saint John the Evangelist Siena, 1320 Tempera on wood 41.7 x 30.3 cm This originally formed the right-hand panel of three – a triptych.  The others would have shown the dead Christ in the centre, with the grieving Virgin Mary to the left.  Saint John’s sorrow was a reaction to Christ’s crucifixion.  The panels could … Read more


The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist Paris, 1869 Oil on canvas 124.5 x 166 cm Salome, to the right, witnesses the execution of Saint John; she holds a dish to receive his severed head.  In the biblical story Salome’s dance enchanted Herod and his wife Herodias, who persuaded her husband to have the saint … Read more

NERI DI BICCI (1418 – about 1492)

Saint John the Baptist Leaving for the Desert Florence, about 1470 Tempera on wood 23.8 x 37.8 cm Saint John, dressed in camel skin, takes leave of his parents outside the walls of Jerusalem.  He journeys to begin his life as a preacher in the desert, which will culminate in his baptising Christ. The panel … Read more

Giovanni Battista Cima, called Cima da Conegliano (1459/60 – 1517/18)

Christ on the Cross with the Virgin and Saint John the Evangelist Probably Conegliano, near Venice, about 1488-93 Tempera on wood 82.5 x 115.2 cm The Virgin Mary and Saint John mourn at the foot of a tall cross.  To the right, Christ prays in the Garden of Gethsemane whilst his disciples sleep – the … Read more