Bernardino Lanino - inv. 25

Bernardino Lanino (c. 1512-1583)

The Preaching of Saint John the Baptist Against Herode
128 x 121 cm
1895 acquisition 
Inv. 25

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This work is linked to The Banquet of Herode (inv. 26), The Burial of Saint John Baptist (inv. 3163) and The Decollation of Saint John the Baptist (inv. 3164).

These two paintings, like another two by the same artist in the same room, reveal large areas of colour loss caused by the particular technique used: tempera on untreated canvas. The oxidised pigments hardened and turned to dust, eventually falling from the canvas, leaving large empty areas visible.
In the Preaching of Saint John the Baptist Against Herod the saint points accusingly at Herod from the pulpit. Herod is wearing a turban and holds the baton of power, while two women of the court appear surprised and a page stands in the foreground.
The Banquet of Herod takes place in a small room: the king with his traditional turban looks troubled, like his fellow guests, as Salome enters carrying the Baptist’s head on a plate.
The two canvases were part of the doors to the altarpiece of Bernardino Gatti in the Cathedral in Vigevano and, originally, other scenes from the saint’s life were to be included. Bernardino Lanino was paid for them in December 1550.
They are late works by the artist from Vercelli, a pupil of Gaudenzio Ferrari, who worked in Piedmont and Lombardy and who collaborated for a long time in Milan with Bernardino Luini.


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