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John the Baptist
John the Baptist was the subject of at least eight paintings by the Italian Baroque artist Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. This work, a brooding, "psychologically interiorized" oil-on-canvas portrait of John the Baptist as a young adult, shows him without any of his usual symbolic attributes (except for the cross he holds), and is considered by scholars the most radical portrait of the series. Caravaggio's unusual practice of composing directly on the canvas without any underpainting, incising salient features with the blunt end of his brush handle, or perhaps with a knife, is evident here particularly on John's left leg. This painting is in the collection of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri.Painting credit: Caravaggio