IN THOSE DAYS. CAME JOHN THE BAPTIS PREACHIN IN THE WILDERNESS OF JUDAH.

  • Josephus Farmer, IN THOSE DAYS. CAME JOHN THE BAPTIS PREACHIN IN THE WILDERNESS OF JUDAH., ca. 1970, carved and painted redwood, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Chuck and Jan Rosenak and museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment, 1997.124.62

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Josephus Farmer carved many images inspired by stories from the Bible. In this painting the center image relates to Matthew 3, in which Saint John the Baptist went into Judah to preach the word of God. Farmer depicted the moment when John baptized Jesus, and painted a symbol above Jesus’s head to represent the Holy Spirit “descending like a dove, and lighting upon him” (Matthew 3:16). This story meant a lot to the artist, whose own baptism marked a turning point in his life. The image to the right, however, shows a later scene in which John was beheaded at the request of Herod’s daughter (Matthew 14:7-10). Farmer carved images based on biblical events to encourage people to ask forgiveness from God. Perhaps the story of John inspired him because the saint preached repentance even to the powerful.

Title
IN THOSE DAYS. CAME JOHN THE BAPTIS PREACHIN IN THE WILDERNESS OF JUDAH.
Artist
Date
ca. 1970
On View
Dimensions
14 x 34 3/4 x 1 1/2 in. (35.6 x 88.3 x 3.8 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Chuck and Jan Rosenak and museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment

Mediums
Mediums Description
carved and painted redwood
Classifications
Keywords
  • Figure group
  • Religion – saint – St. John the Baptist
Object Number
1997.124.62
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

More from artist

1982
carved and painted redwood relief with rhinestones

More Artworks from the Collection

before 1997
1974
house paint on cottonwood with rubber and grass