A member of a family of architects and artists of Piacentine origin who had settled in Siena in the 16th century, Vincenzo Rustici was the son of Lorenzo, a specialist in stucco and grotesque decoration. Secure information about Vincenzo's life and career is somewhat scarce, although Lanzi's assertion that he was a pupil of Alessandro Casolani -- who was also his brother-in-law -- appears to be correct, both on stylistic as well as documentary grounds. In fact, a Raising of Lazarus painted for the Church of San Francesco, Siena, and believed to be Casolani's last painting, is recorded as being finished by Vincenzo.1 The present composition relates to a number of depictions of the Madonna and Child with various ancillary saints produced by Casolani and other Sienese artists (see for example the Madonna and Child with Saints Catherine of Alexandria and Siena [inv. IBS no. 29] as well as a Madonna and Child with Saints Bernardino and Catherine of Siena [inv. 628, given by some scholars to Vincenzo's son Francesco], both in the Pinacoteca, Siena).2 The facial type of the Virgin in the present canvas, however, seems to correspond most closely to that of Vincenzo's signed Pietà in Siena.3
1. "Era verisimilmente suo scolare ed affine,"L. Lanzi, Storia Pittorica della Italia, Milan 1823, vol I. p. 395. "...comincata da Alisandro Casolani finite da Vincentio Rustici" (see F. Chigi, L'elenco delle pitture di Siena..., [1625-26], reprinted by P. Bacci, ed in Buletino. senese di storia patria, X ,1939, p. 318).
2. See P. Torriti, op. cit., pp. 499-500 and 505-6, figs. 644 and 653.
3. See P. Torriti, op. cit., p. 499
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