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Episode 1 | Introduction | Saint John the Baptist: From Birth to Beheading

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Who was John the Baptist and why has he been so important to artists and patrons over the centuries? In this first of 10 films, art historian Jennifer Sliwka and theologian Ben Quash introduce us to this pivotal figure in the Biblical story, and reveal the ways he can immediately be recognised in works of art. This episode takes a close look at two National Gallery masterpieces, Carlo Crivelli's 'The Demidoff Altarpiece' 1476 and Piero della Francesca's 'The Baptism of Christ', 1450s. 'John the Baptist: From Birth to Beheading' is a series of 10 films sharing the highlights of the collaborative MA course taught by Dr Jennifer Sliwka, Howard and Roberta Ahmanson Fellow in Art and Religion at the National Gallery and Professor Ben Quash, Director of the Centre for Arts and the Sacred, King's College London. Subscribe and never miss a new video: http://bit.ly/1HrNTFd Would you like to attend our Lunchtime Talks? Take a look at our program: https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/lunchtime-talks Follow us on social media: Twitter: https://twitter.com/NationalGallery Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thenationalgallery/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/national_gallery/ Help keep the museum accessible for everyone by supporting us here: https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/support-us The National Gallery houses the national collection of paintings in the Western European tradition from the 13th to the 19th centuries. The museum is free of charge and open 361 days per year, daily between 10.00 am - 6.00 pm and on Fridays between 10.00 am - 9.00 pm. Trafalgar Square, London, WC2N 5DN https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk
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Text Comments (25)
Edward Palamar (9 days ago)
Regular updates to the countdown to the Day of the Lord by the sign of the Son of Man in Heaven at : http://risen-from-the-dead.forumotion.com/ Don't forget to support the Day of the Lord Cruise : http://risen-from-the-dead.forumotion.com/c14-the-day-of-the-lord-cruise-to-the-mount-of-olives-and-the-holy-land-in-jesus-name-we-pray
cp canadian (1 month ago)
this is such bullshit
Black Beauty (3 months ago)
alocohc (5 months ago)
My confirmation saint.
Lionel Raoul (8 months ago)
I had a dream that I bowled with John the Baptist and he used his own head to convert the seven-ten split. It was a remarkable shot.
Patricia H (9 months ago)
Ignorant comments that do not appreciate art. art history, faith and beliefs. Dare anyone say anything derogatory about Islam. But Christianity is a free target. Jesus said BLESSED ARE YOU WHEN YOU ARE PERSECUTED FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS SAKE"
KingsCinema (9 months ago)
John the Baptist
ram sobbi (10 months ago)
If you are interested about john baptist, search about Mandaean. They are follower of john baptist.
Casey Ryan (2 years ago)
Why is he white?
Hattie Whitson (11 days ago)
Artists typically rely on human models to paint from. If the artist lives in a white community, like these did, then the models are white. Icons are literally symbolic😬, so they didn’t care. Also, the Semitic peoples inhabiting Nazareth at that time were not subsaharan Africans, contrary to popular beliefs. Hope this helps.
a1seus (1 year ago)
Well if you notice he is darker than the rest of the Saints.
salterpaddyNC (1 year ago)
Actually they are white because the authors of these paintings were white Europeans. Jesus, John, Mary, and the Gospel writers themselves were all brown skinned, just like most people from the Near East today. It's common throughout history for different cultures to depict Christ and the saints with their own unique ethnic attributes and complexions. I think it's a rather endearing human quality to want to see God present in ourselves. It's not wrong at all, but if the only holy figures we encounter are rendered as white Europeans, it implicitly suggests that divinity could only be manifest in white people. So for this reason it's important to keep in mind that Jesus and the biblical saints were indeed brown people. :)
This narrator acts like he met John and states these ideas as facts like a scientist. This is absurd. Faith can never be proved, that's what makes religion so easily faked. Represented by cash paid paintings. Nobody painted for nothing. They were hired by someone in power. That's why he's so white and not olive skin.
painting are commissioned for money, so they have nothing to do with history. Hitler was painted too.
Ryan Stranahan (2 years ago)
+SassyHershsey SassyHershey Hitler isn't part of history?
Lochricolife (3 years ago)
Who Is that woman ? I think I fell in love
BGTV (3 years ago)
teach us teacher like john thought you  to pray  for this i tell you john is more than a prophet !  and john will come again he is the son of man and he sits in the heart of the earth Matthew 12;41 v40 how do i know this because i am john  this is not my page i am on they block me on mine all things are seen from up high think not seek the heart look from up high its on the map or globe  its over the USA MATTHEW 12;41v40 i am john think not the word of GOD IS TRUE ! for many will see but not see and many will hear but not hear for who has eyes let them see and who has ears let them hear 
the mans (3 years ago)
john was not a saint.
splashenful (1 year ago)
Yes he was, & not only he, but, all the Holy men & women of the Old Testament are Saints too.
William Kairis (2 years ago)
+Kevin Smith saint means Holy
Richard Platt (3 years ago)
And the Lord said unto John: ‘Come forth and you will receive eternal life’. But John came fifth, and won a toaster.
Elihdorr Armin/N (2 years ago)
+Richard Platt lol
Roundpeg Squarehole (3 years ago)
I just found out I am related to st. John the baptist through DNA testing. Can this be true? 
Richard Platt (3 years ago)
of course, because st. johns DNA is well documented, alongside that of jesus and santa claus.
Yahia Mirmotahari (3 years ago)
 How Dr Jennifer Sliwka , looks like  The Mona Lisa ,  it seems  

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