Christ, the Virgin, and Saint John the Baptist with Saints Paul and Catherine
Marcantonio Raimondi’s gleaming yet darkly printed engraving shows an unusual saintly grouping. Here the adult Saint John the Baptist sits enthroned with the Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ in a cloud of glory. John had played a vital role in preparing Christ for the Crucifixion by baptizing him in the river Jordan. The Baptist’s subsequent martyrdom by beheading then elevated him to preside alongside Christ. The saints shown below, Paul and Catherine, underwent their own conversion experiences and martyrdoms: Paul changed from an avid persecutor to a converter of Christians, and Catherine survived torture on the wheel in God’s name.