John is frequently represented in art pointing the way towards Jesus, identifying him as the Lamb of God. Although he was represented in various stages of his life, Villabrille choose to depict St. John when he was older. This image of St. John alludes to his execution or torture while being arrested. The agony on his face is distressing, reminding the viewer of St. John’s sacrifice for Christ. By choosing such a prominent figure in Jesus’s life, Villabrille stresses the importance of Catholicism. During a time of such religious transformation, a piece like St. John on a Platter was important for swaying public opinion towards the Catholic Church.