Panel with the Angel Appearing to Zacharias (from a Retable depicting Saint John the Baptist and scenes from his life)

Artist: Domingo Ram (Spanish, Aragon, active 1464–1507)

Date: 1464–1507

Geography: Made in Aragon, Spain

Culture: Spanish

Medium: Tempera on wood, gold ground

Dimensions: 37 1/2 x 27 1/4 in. (95.3 x 69.2 cm)
Entire Retable: 139 x 100 in. (353.1 x 254 cm)

Classification: Paintings-Panels

Credit Line: The Cloisters Collection, 1925

Accession Number: 25.120.929

Description

Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, appears in an elaborate costume with pendant bells and pomegranates. Recent scholarship has shown that these indicate his role as the High Priest, whose unique privilege it is to enter the Holy of Holies of the Temple in Jerusalem on Yom Kippur. Around his leg is a rope held by another priest, whose job it would be to extract the high priest's body if he died as a result of not properly carrying out his sacred duties.

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