The Baptism of Christ - by Leonardo da Vinci
The Baptism of Christ is a famous painting made by Leonardo da Vinci's master, Andrea del Verrochio at circa 1472 in his studio in Italy. The painting was completed by Verrochio in collaboration with his apprentice, Leonardo da Vinci who painted and finished the details of some parts of the painting, particularly the angel. The painting was an altarpiece commissioned by the monks of the San Salvi Church near Florence.
The Baptism of Christ was mainly done by Verrochio using tempera on wood. The painting depicts St. John the Baptist during the baptism of the Lord Jesus Christ as according to the Gospels of Luke, Mark and Matthew. Two angels on the left side of the painting complete the four figures in the artwork. The scene illustrated by the painting includes God's extended arms painted with golden rays and dove with its wings widely spread, a halo with cruciform is painted on top of Jesus' head and another halo on top of St. John the Baptist. The two angels are holding Jesus' clothes. The angel on the left side is the part done by Leonardo da Vinci. He used oil, which was at that time a new medium in painting.
Verrochio was an artist whose artistic talents were shown in his paintings, metalwork and sculptures. He was running his own workshop along with his apprentices who turned out also to be great artists of the Renaissance era along with Leonardo da Vinci. His apprentices, aside from Leonardo da Vinci, were Sandro Botticelli, and Lorenzo de Credi.
As art historian Vasari reported the following circumstances regarding this painting:
Verrocchio had already done the main work. Leonardo painted an angel who was holding some garments; and despite his youth, he executed it in such a manner that his angel was far better that the figures painted by Verrocchio. This was the reason why Andrea would never touch colours again, he was so ashamed that a boy understood their use better than he did. ”