The Virgin and Child with the Infant Saint John the Baptist
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The Virgin and Child with the Infant Saint John the Baptist about 1500
Circular panel paintings (called a tondo) were very popular in fifteenth-century Italy. The composition of the Virgin and Child in this painting is found in various contemporary versions of the subject. It is difficult to ascribe a firm attribution to the painting because the figure group shows the influence of both Piero di Cosimo and Filippino Lippi, whereas the landscape is closer to Raffaello Botticini’s style. Devotional images of the Virgin and Child with the Infant Saint John the Baptist were especially popular in Florence because John the Baptist was the patron saint of the city. The people of Florence were familiar with seeing the figure of the Baptist on a flat circular form: since the twelfth century his image had graced one side of the gold florin coin (the local currency).

Glossary Open

Composition

The arrangement of different elements in a work of art.

Devotional art

Religious images used privately as a focus of prayer or an aid to meditation.

Tondo

A circular painting or relief sculpture.

Composition, Devotional art, Tondo

Details

  • Acc. No. NG 645
  • Medium Oil on panel
  • Size Circular, maximum diameter: 87.50 cm
  • Credit Bequest of David Laing 1879