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St. John the Baptist
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Master of the Harburger Altar
German, about 1515
Partially polychromed limewood
59 7/8 x 19 5/16 x 11 13/16 in.
2012.1

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Saint John the Baptist cradles the Holy Lamb, a symbol of the sacrificial Christ. The sculpture illustrates the saint's exclamation, "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29).

Glimpsed beneath his billowing mantle is a tattered shift of camel's skin, as described in the Bible. The camel's bearded head rests between the saint's feet. Originally the sculpture was one of two figures flanking a central figure of Christ or the Virgin and Child within a winged altarpiece. It has lost most of its original paint.