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ID number:  BIRBI-43.10
Institution:  The Barber Institute of Fine Arts
Artist / Maker:  Botticelli, Sandro (c.1445-1510)
Title / Object name:  The Madonna and Child with the infant St John
Object type:  Painting
Place made:  Florence
Culture:  Italian
Date made:  1480s
Materials:  Tempera on canvas
Measurements:  130.7 x 91.4 cm
Provenance:  Henry Farrer sale, Christie's, 15 June 1866 (lot 157), purchased by Cardigan; Captain the Honourable John Carnegie; Purchased from Messrs. P. & D. Colnaghi & Co. Ltd., in 1943 for £14,000.

The Virgin lowers the infant Christ to embrace his cousin, John the Baptist. Christ recognises that Saint John will pave the way for his own divine mission. The complex poses and the narrow composition create an intimate image focussed on Christ’s humanity.

Sandro Botticelli ran a successful studio in Florence, producing religious and mythological scenes. Popular compositions such as this were repeated with variations by members of his studio. The fine quality of this work, however, suggests that Botticelli was largely responsible.

Notes:  Exhibited: Colnaghi, 'Painting by Old Masters', 1935 (no.2); 'The Botticelli Renaissance', Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK, 05 March 2016 - 03 July 2016

1 Related People

Botticelli, Sandro
c. 1445

3 Related Publications

Sandro Botticelli
Lightbown, Ronald

The Conoisseur

Spender, Stephan

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