Decapitation of Saint John the Baptist. Etching.

We’re improving the information on this page. Find out more.


Saint John the Baptist was the son of Saint Elizabeth, a relative (Greek "syngenis") of the Virgin. He was therefore a relative of Jesus Christ. His father was Zacharias. He is often depicted wearing camel's hair; with a lamb, referring to his description of Christ as the "Lamb of God"; with a cross of reeds held sometimes by him and sometimes by the lamb; and pointing with his index finger, to indicate his role as annunciator of Christ. His martyrdom by decapitation led to his being invoked especially against diseases associated with the head, such as migraine, epilepsy ("le mal Saint-Jean") and quinsy

Physical description

1 print

Work type



Using this Image

License information

You can use this work for any purpose, including commercial uses, without restriction under copyright law. You should also provide attribution to the original work, source and licence.

Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) terms and conditions


Decapitation of Saint John the Baptist. Etching.. Credit: Wellcome Collection. CC BY


Credit: Wellcome Collection

Free to use with attribution