Verrocchio and DaVinci paint 'The Baptism of Christ'

"The Baptism of Christ" was commissioned to Verrochio by the monks of San Salvi, a church located in Florence. It is thought that the painting was worked on by Verrocchio, DaVinci, and possibly one other older artist. At the time it was very common for artist to paint the main figure and leave the secondary figures to their pupils. It is thought an older artist may have painted the dove and the hands for the appear to be less developed than the rest of the painting. DaVinci is known to have painted the left angel in the painting as well as Jesus' figure and parts of the background.  In the background it can be seen that DaVinci began to play with sunlight, mist and shadows giving the painting three-dimensional feel, while the parts of the background Verrocchio did, such as the trees, have more of a static feel. DaVinci used oil paint for his parts of the painting. Oil paints allowed DaVinci to create smoother transitions and gradients between his colors, creating a more realistic look. These smooth transitions can be seen in the shadows and shading of Verrocchio’s parts of the painting, such as the hair of the angel and the shading of Jesus’s body. Something unique DaVinci did was give his angel’s face emotion as well as have the angel be paying attention to the main event of the painting. At the time is was not common for secondary figures to display either of these things. Most secondary figures were depicted like Verrocchio’s angel, staring off bored into the distance. This is just another aspect displaying how ahead of his time DaVinci truly was.


image was found on Wikimedia

Associated Place(s)

Event date:

circa. 1472 to circa. 1475