Author: N / A
Created: late 19th century.
Material / technique: wood carving, polychrome.
Dimensions: sculpture of Jesus high - 63 cm; sculpture of St John the Baptist high - 36 cm.
The Baptism of Jesus is a narrative, which reminds us of the event in Jesus’ life, which is a reference point for His mission on earth as the Saviour. According to the Bible, the Prophet of Conversion, John the Baptist, announced the news that people were living their last days, because God was angry and would soon destroy His enemies and create the world afresh. Repentant people rushed to the river to get rid of their sins and to convert. During Baptism, the sins of penitents are washed away with water. The works of art show Jesus immersed in the River Jordan being baptised by John the Baptist.
The Saviour as a grown man of 33 started the work for which He had been sent by His Father to earth. Then Jesus came from Nazareth to the Jordan to be baptised by John. When He came to the river there were many people listening to St John preaching. Jesus asked John, ‘Dear John, baptise me.’ But John recognised the Saviour and replied, ‘I need to be baptised by you, and you, the Son of God, come to me, human being to be baptised?’ Most beloved Jesus replied, ‘Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfil all righteousness.’ St John consented and the Saviour went into the River Jordan and was baptised. As soon as Jesus was baptised, He went up out of the water and prayed. At that moment the heavens opened, and He saw the Holy Spirit descending like a dove and alighting on him. And everyone at the Jordan heard a voice from heaven say, ‘This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.’ This is how the Holy Trinity was clearly revealed to the people – the voice of God the Father was heard, the Holy Spirit could be seen as an innocent dove and the Son in God’s body was praying by the side of the river. The baptism of the Saviour was the introduction of the Sacrament of Baptism for the release from sins. (Motiejus Valančius, „Žyvatas Jėzaus Kristaus Viešpaties mūsų“, Raštai 3, p. 345)
Reference: "The Lithuanian art collection of Jaunius Gumbis". Museum and Collector - 6. Vilnius: National Museum of Lithuania, 2016, Kat. No, P. 52.
Exhibition: Exhibition of the collection of Lithuanian art of dr. Jaunius Gumbis "Collected and Preserved", September 2016 - January 2017, National Museum of Lithuania, Vilnius.
Published: "The Lithuanian art collection of Jaunius Gumbis". Museum and Collector - 6. Vilnius: National Museum of Lithuania, 2016, Kat. No, P. 53; "The traditional folk sculptures collection of Gediminas Petraitis". Ed. Marytė Slušinskaitė. Vilnius: National Museum of Lithuania, 2012, P. 70.