Jesus takes dead center, and our eyes are drawn to Him first. He is all humility, arms crossed over His chest, head bowed down. Receiving Baptism in perfect obedience, though He never sinned.
John the Baptist stands to the side, his staff a visible separation between himself and God, a reference to his initial rebuttals that he needed to be baptized by Jesus, and his later remarks that he was unworthy to loose Jesus’ sandals.
The only significant part of John that breaks this barrier is his hand that Baptizes with water.
The voice of God, symbolized by the rays, and the descent of the Holy Spirit as a dove, intercept with John’s hand and Jesus’ head. “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” echos through the air.
This whole action is anointed and sanctified by God.
John Baptizes with water, and Jesus will Baptizes with the Holy Spirit.
One of 12 paintings for the Ascension Press program “What We Believe” found here.
As part of the program I worked closely with the team to come up with each composition, and for this one it was a unique challenge as the Baptism is never represented in a square. I took it as a chance to have the Spirit descending from the side instead of from right on top, and I think it balances the scene really well. I knew I wanted Jesus to be perfectly centered so focus would always draw to him first instead of John the Baptist. I love how it worked out.
Oil paint is slightly transparent, letting light bounce through thinner layers of paint to the the lower layers. The brush strokes, everywhere they are even slightly raised, catch the light, and change throughout the day as the light changes. The original painting will hold a depth that is not capturable with a print. There’s no replacing what an original piece looks like, and when you love a piece, it’s always worth it to get the original if possible.
The frame that I’ve shown is a Masterworks Frames handmade, carved, 12 layer frame with hand applied gold leaf in either 12k (silver) or 22k (gold) genuine gold leaf (depending on what is shown in the photos). The frame is solid wood, and thick, I’ve never for an instant wondered if it would break, unlike store bought frames. The corners are filled in for a seamless museum quality finish.
If you do want a print instead, click here! You’ll be directed to the canvas print options on Ascension Press’ website. For paper prints, click the “shop now” button on the right, under a photo of the Baptism as a paper print.