PIER FRANCESCO DI JACOPO FOSCHI | THE MADONNA AND CHILD AND THE INFANT SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST
Estimate: 80,000 - 120,000 USD
PIER FRANCESCO DI JACOPO FOSCHI
Florence 1502 - 1567
THE MADONNA AND CHILD AND THE INFANT SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST
inscribed on verso: Andrea del Sarto
oil on panel
42 by 32¾ in.; 106.7 by 83.2 cm.
R. H. Wood;
Anonymous sale, London, Christie’s, February 25, 1927 (withdrawn);
Private Collection, Vienna;
Galerie Sanct Lucas, Vienna, 1937;
Anonymous sale, Vienna, Dorotheum, 6 December 1989, lot 457 (as Maso di San Friano);
There acquired by present owner.
Shanghai Art Museum, "From Light to Enlightenment": Italian Old Master Paintings from 16th to 18th Centuries, 12 - 17 November 2005, no. 129.
"From Light to Enlightenment": Italian Old Master Paintings from 16th to 18th Centuries, exhibition catalogue, Shanghai 2005, pp. 20-21, no. 129, reproduced.
Foschi worked in Andrea del Sarto's studio until the latter died in 1530, and his master's influence is apparent in this devotional composition. In color scheme and figural arrangement Foschi's painting recalls Del Sarto's Medici Holy Family and the figure of the Infant Christ, with his upturned face and twisted pose, is inspired by the Bracci Holy Family, both pictures in the Pitti Palace, Florence.1 The full range of bold colors and acidic tint to suggest iridescence on the Madonna's clothing is characteristic of Florentine painting in the early 1520s, and the twilight landscape compares to early Bronzino paintings such as the Dead Christ with the Madonna and St. Mary Magdalen (Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence).2 Foschi's individual style is also visible in the sculptural drapery with folds parallel to the picture plane. Despite the early Mannerist stylistic influence, Foschi's iconography is straightforward and closer to High Renaissance altarpieces. In this way the painting looks forward to the standard of clarity enforced during the Counter-Reformation, unlike the deliberately complicated iconography of Foschi's contemporaries. The Christ Child holds an apple, symbol of the original sin from which He would save mankind. Meanwhile the infant St. John the Baptist offers Christ a goldfinch, a symbol of the eventual Passion because the bird eats thistle seeds reminiscent of Christ's crown of thorns.
1. Andrea del Sarto, Medici Holy Family, c. 1529, oil on panel, 140 by 104 cm.
Palazzo Pitti, Galleria Palatina, Florence; Del Sarto, Bracci Holy Family, mid-1520s, oil on panel, 129 by 105 cm. Palazzo Pitti, Galleria Palatina, Florence. See A. Natali, Andrea del Sarto, Milan 1999, p. 186, plate 185, and pp. 150-1, plates 138, 139.
2. Agnolo Bronzino, Dead Christ with the Madonna and St. Mary Magdalen, 1529, oil on panel, 100 by 105 cm. Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence. See C. Strinati, Bronzino, Rome 2010, p. 54, no. 31.