Joachim Patinir (?)
(1485-1524)
Landscape with the Baptism of Christ and the Sermon of St. John, ca. 1520
Oil on panel, 33 x 46 cm
Inscribed lower left: I Patenir (f?)
Koch 27
This picture which so closely resembles the second paiting attributed to Patinir in the Bührle Collection, permits an instructive comparison and shows how late medieval painters freely adapted the themes of their greater masters. It is obvious that the two paintings are very similar to each other; there are other small paintings, e.g., in Innsbruck and Uppsala, which combine "Patinirian" elements within the basic scheme of "left above, closed, lower right, open; river winding left; John kneeling on bank, left; left middleground, the Sermon; above, God the Father" with always different deviations, sometimes superior, sometimes inferior to our painting. Is there any direct dependence between these two paintings? It is more likely that all these pictures had a common model, that they are more or less free variations on a single theme.