Description In the early 1500s, casual groupings of the Holy Family became popular in works of art intended for domestic settings, where they would be viewed by members of the entire family. This “tondo” (circular painting) seems especially attuned to such an audience given that it depicts the Madonna holding her son, the infant Christ, in an embrace with his cousin, John the Baptist. This tender motif emphasizes both the humanity of Christ and the importance of family. The painting is thought to be by Giacomo and/or Giulio Francia, two brothers who inherited the workshop of their father, Francesco Francia (1450-1517), the most famous painter in the north Italian city of Bologna in the late 1400s and early 1500s. Giacomo and Giulio’s individual styles cannot be easily distinguished from one another, and it seems that most of the paintings attributed to them—such as this tondo—were executed collaboratively. Though the brothers usually drew inspiration from the works of their father, this painting is based on a composition by their Florentine contemporary, Piero di Cosimo (1462-1521), now at the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Strasbourg, France. For an image of Piero's tondo, click here
|9/23/1938||Treatment||coated; other; surface cleaned|
|1/05/1959||Examination||examined for condition|
|7/23/1959||Examination||examined for condition|
Provenance Henry Walters, Baltimore, prior to 1909 [mode of acquisition unknown]; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Bequest of Henry Walters, 1931
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