Collection Online
The Baptism of Christ
oil on wood panel
86.4 × 67.3 cm
Accession Number
International Painting
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Felton Bequest, 1920
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of Digitisation Champion Ms Carol Grigor through Metal Manufactures Limited
Gallery location
16th & 17th Century Gallery - Painting and Sculpture
Mezzanine linked to Level 1, NGV International
While Marco Palmezzano seems to have lived in his hometown of Forli, he travelled frequently to Venice, where he is recorded as owning property in 1495. His paintings are noted for their archaic qualities. Palmezzano’s works show affinities with those of the Venetian master Giovanni Bellini and also with the Ferrarese school, located not far from his home town of Forli. In Baptism of Christ, the thin-flanked, bony forms of Christ and his bathing companion recall the distinctive angular forms of Cosmè Tura and Nottingham alabasters.


This frame was one of four Italian Renaissance frames purchased by the Director, Daryl Lindsay in 1953 at a cost of £630.00.
These four frames are the only picture frames in the collection to be formally acquired.

The carved sections of the frame, particularly the seraphim, are made independently and added to the flat.
A number of sections make up the frame. Restoration of the surface leaves the construction unclear.

In 2012 this frame was used to re-present The Baptism of Christ (dating to c.1535) by Marco Palmezzano.
Vertical fillets were used to make up the difference in the width of the sight size.

The Baptism of Christ was acquired in 1920 with a tabernacle frame carrying a bronzed paint finish, punched decoration in the background and applied ornament with no regular cracking.
The frame might well date to the time of acquisition, early in the twentieth century.
The frame was removed and put into storage in 2012.

Unknown - 16th century

hand carved poplar, gilded with gold leaf, lap-joined back frame with mitred inner and outer decorative sections on the face.