The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
St. John the Baptist in the Desert
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • The saint, the forerunner or ‘messenger’ of Christ, is shown at the time he retired to the desert (Luke 1: 80). He wears a shirt of camel’s hair. Other versions of this model indicate that when complete the saint would have held a cup in his left hand and his right hand to his heart. The Wallace Collection’s statuette is one of a large number of similar works, products of an unidentified studio working in Florence in the first quarter of the sixteenth century. It has recently been suggested that they might be early works by the sculptor Jacopo Sansovino (1486-1570).