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Landscape with the Baptism of Christ

Attributed to Patenier Joachim

(Bouvignes? 1475-80 - Antwerp 1524)

This painting is first mentioned in the Borghese inventories in 1833. It has been ascribed to Joachim Patenier, even though its quality does not allow us to place full confidence in this attribution. It shows a seascape with several rocky mountains, which function as the backdrop for a scene of the baptism of Christ in the foreground.

Object details

1550 ca.
oil on panel
cm 35 x 56

Salvator Rosa, 89.6 x 36.8 x 4.5 cm


Rome, Borghese Collection, 1833 (Inventario Fidecommissario 1833, p. 28; Della Pergola 1959); purchased by Italian state, 1902.

Conservation and Diagnostic
  • 1953 - Mauro Manca


The provenance of this painting is still unknown. It does not appear in the Borghese documentation until 1833, when it is listed in the Inventario Fidecommissario together with two other landscapes (inv. nos 197, 198). While Giovanni Piancastelli (1891) ascribed it to an anonymous artist, Adolfo Venturi (1893) was the first to propose an attribution to the Flemish painter Joachim Patenier; later critics, including Leo van Puyvelde (1950), Paola della Pergola (1959) and Kristina Herrmann Fiore (2006), supported this idea.

Although this small panel shows similarities with other landscapes by Patenier, the uneven quality of the work does not allow us to ascribe it to him with complete confidence. Nonetheless, the style of the painting indicates that he represents a valid point of reference for the attribution.

Antonio Iommelli

  • G. Piancastelli, Catalogo dei quadri della Galleria Borghese, in Archivio Galleria Borghese, 1891, p. 454;
  • A. Venturi, Il Museo e la Galleria Borghese, Roma 1893, p. 122;
  • L. van Puyvelde, La Peinture Flamande à Rome, Bruxelles 1950, p. 84;
  • P. della Pergola, La Galleria Borghese. I Dipinti, II, Roma 1959, pp. 181-182, n. 270;
  • K. Herrmann Fiore, Galleria Borghese Roma scopre un tesoro. Dalla pinacoteca ai depositi un museo che non ha più segreti, San Giuliano Milanese 2006, p. 70.