Description This charming image depicts the Madonna holding the Christ Child on her lap as he reaches over to embrace his cousin John the Baptist, patron saint of Florence. With his arms folded over his chest in a sign of reverence, the Baptist lovingly looks toward Christ, who in turn twists around to lock us with his mother. The sprawling landscape behind the figures includes views of two distant cities at the left and right. With its lively brushwork, pastel colors, and complex, twisting poses, the painting is a characteristic example of “mannerism,” a 16th-century style focused more on expression than naturalism. Michele Tosini was the third in line of an artistic dynasty established in the 15th century by Domenico Ghirlandaio (1449-94) and continued into the 16th century by Domenico’s son and Tosini’s teacher, Ridolfo Ghirlandaio (1483-1561) Sometimes called Michele di Ridolfo (in honor of his teacher), Tosini brought the workshop’s production to new heights, especially in the field of small-scale paintings of the Madonna and Child intended for domestic interiors. There are innumerable surviving variants of the Walters panel, indicating it was one of the workshop’s most popular compositions.
|1/12/1966||Treatment||cleaned; stabilized; loss compensation; coated|
Provenance Don Marcello Massarenti Collection, Rome [date and mode of acquisition unknown] [1897 catalogue: no. 262, as Rafaello dal Colle]; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1902, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters with the Massarenti Collection, 1902
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