Padua baptistery

Visitors to Padua head hotfoot to the Scrovegni Chapel, to gaze in awe at Giotto’s frescos. The baptistery is largely bypassed; in doing so, art loving visitors are missing a masterpiece.
  Construction of the baptistery started in the 12th century. It was restored in the late 14th century as a mausoleum for Prince Francesco il Vecchio da Carrara and his wife, Fina Buzzaccarini. Giusto de' Menabuoi, said to be a pupil of Giotto, was entrusted with the internal frescos. His name is not as well known as Giotto’s, but a visit here may well convince you that it should be.

Starting in the cupola. The image of Christ Pantocrator is surrounded by a vast host of saints and angels. Around that are 33 scenes from Genesis, beginning with what is perhaps the most extraordinary image in the entire baptistery, the creation of the world.  

The north, south and west walls show scenes from the lives of Christ and of John the Baptist. The east wall has the altar, above which is a large crucifixion scene. The windows in the south wall make it very difficult to photograph in its entirety.

The west wall

View of the east and north walls

A small selection of scenes from the images of John the Baptist and the life of Christ. Sadly, It is impossible here to to do justice to the nearly100 scenes in the baptistery as a whole.

Birth of John the Baptist

The Baptism of Christ

The Annunciation

The Massacre of the Innocents

The Wedding at Cana

The Crucifixion
Baptisteries page 1                                                        Home page: explore the site