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Title Madonna and Child with Infant St John
Collection Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
Artist Manzuoli, Tommaso (Italian painter, 1531-1571)
Date Earliest about 1560
Date Latest about 1570
Description This painting is one of two similar images by Manzuoli, also known as Maso di San Friano, the other being in Prato Cathedral. The mood of this painting reflects the strong re-affirmation of Catholic faith during the Counter-Reformation. The facial expression and attitude of the Christ Child convey excitement and joy as he and an angel gaze upwards to heaven and God the Father. Behind the Child, a youthful St John the Baptist looks down smiling. There is no biblical basis for his inclusion with the Virgin and Child and the idea first occurs in the art of the Italian Renaissance. The composition is inspired by Andrea del Sarto's Corsini Madonna of c. 1513-14. The handling is closely comparable to that of the Coiai Altarpiece by Manzuoli in the Accademia, Florence, and can, therefore, be dated to the mid 1560s.
Current Accession Number 1966P41
Former Accession Number P.4166
Subject religion (Virgin and Child, Infant St John)
Measurements 77.0 x 61 cm.0 cm (estimate)
Material oil on panel (hardwood {poplar})
Acquisition Details Given by the Public Picture Gallery Fund 1966.
Provenance Camuccini Collection, Rome; Camuccini sale, 1856, bought by 5th Duke of Northumberland; purchased from 10th Duke of Northumberland, Alnwick Castle by Trustees of the Public Picture Gallery Fund through Agnew & Sons.
Principal Exhibitions Old Masters from the City of Birmingham, Wildenstein and Company, 1970, cat. no. 9..
Publications Cannon-Brookes, P., Maso di San Friano, PhD thesis, Courtauld Institute, 1967; Cannon-Brookes, P., 'A Madonna and Child', Apollo, 1970, p.346, ill.; Foreign Paintings in Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, A Summary Catalogue, 1983, no. 95.
Notes This panel has been trimmed and at least two centimetres have been lost from every edge.

A similar version was sold, Sotheby's sale, 21 March 1973, lot 50, bought by Humphries. Another version is in the Canon's Retiring Room, Prato Cathedral which reveals the original extent of the Birmingham version.

Rights Owner Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
Author Dr Patricia Smyth
 

 

 

 

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