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Virgin and Child with Saint Elizabeth and Saint John the Baptist

Bronzinoabout 1540–1545

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum
Los Angeles, United States

The statuesque figure of the Virgin Mary dominates the composition. Standing on her lap, the Christ Child removes a garland of flowers from his head and grasps the reed cross, which foreshadows the Crucifixion. The infant Saint John the Baptist, who carries the baptismal bowl, offers to the Child a bunch of wild strawberries, which refer to Christ’s fruitful and righteous life but also serve as a reminder of the blood spilled during the Passion. In the background an elderly Saint Elizabeth, the mother of John, looks down over Mary’s shoulder. The scene is set in a mountainous landscape as dawn is breaking, with a large fortress visible on top of a hill at left. The picture may have been painted for an acquaintance of Bronzino’s at the court of Duke Cosimo I de’ Medici in Florence.

Details

  • Title: Virgin and Child with Saint Elizabeth and Saint John the Baptist
  • Creator: Agnolo Bronzino
  • Date Created: about 1540–1545
  • Physical Dimensions: 102.7 × 83.4 cm (40 7/16 × 32 13/16 in.)
  • External Link: Object Record
  • Medium: Oil on panel
  • Object Creditline: The J. Paul Getty Museum

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