Previous Next

Legend of the Mortal Remains of St. John the Baptist

after 1484, Artist: Geertgen tot Sint Jans



Legend of the Mortal Remains of St. John the Baptist

In the background the separate burials of the head and the body following the decapitation of the Baptist under Herod’s rule can be seen; in the foreground the opening of the tomb and the burning of the limbs on the orders of Emperor Julian the Apostate in 362 A.D.; in the centre the rediscovery of the rescued remains in the 13th century. This scene has been relocated to the late 15th century in which Knights of the Order of St. John Convent in Haarlem are depicted in a group portrait, which is the earliest in art history.

Location: Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Kabinett 17

Object data

Object Name



Early Netherlandish


after 1484


Geertgen tot Sint Jans (um 1460/65 Leiden (?) - nach 1490 Haarlem) - GND


oak wood


oben beschnitten: top cut: 172 x 139 cm
Framed: 194 cm x 161 cm x 11 cm

Image rights

Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Gemäldegalerie

Inv. No.

Gemäldegalerie, 993


After the destruction of the altar during the siege of Haarlem by Spanish troops, the remaining wing was temporarily transferred to Utrecht in 1573; until 1625 in the possession of the Order of St. John in Haarlem; then until 1628 in the possession of the city of Haarlem; in 1636 given as a gift by the States General to King Charles I of England; 1638-1649 Coll. Hamilton; Coll. Leopold Wilhelm;

Kunst & Patenschaft

This object is still without a Art Patron. Accept the patronage and make sure that this cultural treasure is preserved for future generations.
Your donation is a direct and sustainable contribution to the scientific documentation, research, restoration, and presentation of the artworks of the Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien.

Become an art patron