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Mazzola, Francesco, called Parmigianino
The Holy Family with Saint Elizabeth and the Infant Baptist
1524-1530

This, one of many interpretations by Parmigianino of the theme of the Holy Family, likely dates to his Roman stay of 1524-1527, and reflects a newfound knowledge of the work of Michelangelo and Raphael. He likely drew on Michelangelo’s sculpture known as the Florentine Madonna for the spiraling pose of John the Baptist. Parmigianino’s choice of a pyramidal arrangement likely originated in Raphael’s Canigiani Madonna, or his pupil Giulio Romano’s Madonna della Gatta. His decision to incorporate Elizabeth and her son John the Baptist as a group worshipping the Christ Child was innovative, and imparts a sense of piety and familial intimacy.

 
Mazzola, Francesco, called Parmigianino
Born Parma, 1503 - Died Casalmaggiore, 1540
The Holy Family with Saint Elizabeth and the Infant Baptist
1524-1530
pen and ink and wash heightened with white over black chalk on prepared paper
height / width: 16.3 cm x 11.9 cm; height / width: 48.2 cm
Gift of Bayside Lakeshore Properties Ltd., Montreal, 1998
41-018.13

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