National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Madonna and Child with Saint Elizabeth and Saint John the Baptist Jacopino del Conte (artist)
Florentine, 1510 - 1598
Madonna and Child with Saint Elizabeth and Saint John the Baptist, c. 1535
oil on panel
overall: 161.3 x 119 x 2.9 cm (63 1/2 x 46 7/8 x 1 1/8 in.) framed: 189.2 x 147 x 8.8 cm (74 1/2 x 57 7/8 x 3 7/16 in.)
Ailsa Mellon Bruce Fund
On View
From the Tour: Mannerism
Object 3 of 8

Like the somewhat older Rosso and Pontormo, Jacopino was probably a student of Andrea del Sarto. His earliest works essentially paraphrased his teacher’s compositions, but here newer influences are evident. A hint of Pontormo’s style emerges in the longer, more elegant proportions of the figures and in the hard, polished color. Furthermore, the figures’ monumental scale and almost sculptural mass signal Michelangelo’s influence.

Images of the Virgin and Child with John the Baptist and his mother Elizabeth were popular in sixteenth-century Florence. Here, many elements of the composition play a symbolic role to extend the scene’s meaning. The cloth, just warmed over the brazier, foreshadows Jesus’ burial shroud, and the cradle at Mary’s feet, his tomb. The unseen future, with Christ’s passion and its promise of mankind’s salvation, is expressed in these signals and the linked gestures of the figures.

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