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ID number:  BIRBI-50.5
Institution:  The Barber Institute of Fine Arts
Artist / Maker:  Neri di Bicci (1419-c.1491)
Title / Object name:  St John the Baptist leaving for the desert
Object type:  Painting
Culture:  Italian
Date made:  about 1470/5
Materials:  Tempera on wood
Measurements:  23.8 x 37.8 cm
Provenance:  Henry Harris; purchased at the sale of the Henry Harris collection, Sotheby's 25 October 1950 for £90.

The young saint, clothed in camel's hair, leaves his parents, Zacharias and Elizabeth, to prepare for his ministry - an expansion of Luke i: 76 and 80. In the left background is the city of Jerusalem (probably based on Florence, of which John is a patron saint). The panel was originally part of the predella (base) of an altarpiece, as indicated by the cut gold balusters on either side. This was commissioned in 1470 and is now in the church of S. Lucia al Borghetto a Tavarnelle Valdipesa. Neri di Bicci, son of Bicci di Lorenzo, ran a large workshop in Florence and the execution may be by a pupil of his.

1 Related People

Neri di Bicci
c. 1491
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