The Baptism of Jesus Christ

Type: Icon

Period: The end of the 18 century

Author: Unknown

School: Bansko Iconographic School

Dimmensions (cm): 45.5 / 34 / 2


Country: Bulgaria

Province: Blagoevgrad

Town: Bansko

Museum: Museum complex


Country: Bulgaria

Province: Blagoevgrad

Village: Osenovo

Church: St. Archangel Michael


This is the traditional treatment of the theme, Christ being portrayed in the center of the composition with his feet in the river Jordan. To his left, painted on a rock, is St. John the Baptist, who is administering the baptism, and there is on the right-hand side a group of angels. Above Christ, in the midst of clouds, is God Sabaoth (God the Father). The background is a blue one, brightening towards the horizon. Down below, on the left-hand side, there is a small figure, carrying a clam-shell. This is the traditional way in the iconography to symbolize the waters of the river Jordan, wherein Jesus Christ had been baptized.

Iconographical technique: Tempera

The varnish cover is laid unevenly.

Base material: Wood

The icon's base is made of two oak panels with two inserted beams of the same material. The panels are disjoined at a distance of about 2 - 3 mm from one another, as a result of their drying up. The ground coat is of plaster, laid thinly, its thickness varying between 0,2 and 0,5 mm. It is applied without any canvas, directly on the base.

State, restoration traces and comments

There are no traces of any previous restoration work. The varnish cover is laid unevenly, this leading to an uneven spoiling of the surface as well. There is a certain darkening all over the surface of the painting. There are, in the icon's lower part, lacks of ground coat and of pigment layer. The same lacks exist also at the places of the joining of the two panels and along the entire length of the surrounding frame. There are partial lacks of ground coat and of pigment layer in the icon's left upper corner, on the beard of St. John the Forerunner, on the nimbus and on the figure of Christ.