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Title

Madonna and Child with infant John the Baptist

circa 1542

Artist

Domenico Beccafumi

Italy

1484 - January or 18 May 1551

Alternate image of Madonna and Child with infant John the Baptist by Domenico Beccafumi
Alternate image of Madonna and Child with infant John the Baptist by Domenico Beccafumi
Alternate image of Madonna and Child with infant John the Baptist by Domenico Beccafumi
Alternate image of Madonna and Child with infant John the Baptist by Domenico Beccafumi
  • Details

    Other Title
    The Madonna and Child with Saint John the Baptist
    Date
    circa 1542
    Media category
    Painting
    Materials used
    oil on panel
    Dimensions
    92.0 x 69.0 cm panel; 134.5 x 100.0 x 18.0 cm frame
    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Credit
    Art Gallery of New South Wales Foundation Purchase 1992
    Location
    15th–19th c European art
    Accession number
    231.1992
    Copyright

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Domenico Beccafumi

    Works in the collection

    1

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  • About

    Reversing the pose of Ferrucci's relief, this marvel of mannerist painting also shows the new directions of Italian art in the sixteenth century. With its mysterious luminosity and boldly defined figures, it suggests statuary viewed by candle-light. Beccafumi has paid homage to Michelangelo in the volumetric forms of the Madonna and her draperies and the 'contrapposto' of her pose. For the suppleness of flesh and softness of atmosphere, however, Beccafumi has turned to Leonardo's testing 'sfumato' technique. This imbues his altarpiece with a theatricality that is utterly in accord with the mannerist aesthetic in which Beccafumi was steeped throughout his long career. As a master trained in Siena, a city dedicated to the Virgin, Beccafumi produced innumerable versions of this subject. In this case, the result is a painting of exceptional poetic power.

    AGNSW Handbook, 1999.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 3 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 14 publications

  • Provenance

    The provenance of this work is under review and records will be updated as new details become available. The Gallery welcomes any information. Contact provenance@ag.nsw.gov.au

    A.S. Drey, Munich/Germany, [dealer]

    Private Collection, Monaco, Il dipinto, giunto prima del 1936 da Monaco a Londra, è attualmente nella Galleria Matthiesen. [the painting, which arrived in London from Monaco before 1936, is now in the Gallery Matthiesen.] see 'Beccafumi' by Piero Torriti, Electa 1998, pg. 187

    Private Collection, London/England, Sold Sotheby's London, 7 December 1988, lot 83 for £297,000

    The Matthiesen Gallery, London/England, Purchased by the AGNSW from Matthiesen Gallery 1992