Colnaghi Foundation Journal 03 - Page 17



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A Renaissance Madonna and Child with the Infant Saint John the Baptist in Kirkcaldy
A Renaissance Madonna and Child with the Infant Saint John the Baptist in Kirkcaldy
Fig. 2 / Andrea del Sarto,
Madonna and Child, 1528-1530,
oil on panel, 87 x 65 cm,
Florence, Galleria Palatina,
Palazzo Pitti.
Fig. 3 / Andrea del Sarto, Pietà
(Pietà di Luco), 1523-1524, oil
on panel, 238.5 x 198.5 cm,
Florence, Galleria Palatina,
Palazzo Pitti.
of the Christ Child through the upturned face, pose,
and reed cross of Saint John, to the side-swept curls
of Christ’s central quiff.6 Yet other pictures show that
Puligo’s art was copied by pupils and imitators (fig. 7).
Although Puligo is thought to have had many pupils,
only one is mentioned by Vasari: Domenico Beceri of
Florence, to whom we shall return.
Other possible candidates for author of the Kirkcaldy
painting include later devotees of Andrea del Sarto,
such as Michele Tosini, known as Michele di Ridolfo
del Ghirlandaio (1503-1577), and his pupil, Francesco
Brina (ca. 1540-1586), though perhaps there are not
sufficient similarities in all details. A painter who may
15
more fully enter the arena is Pier Francesco Foschi
(1502-1567), who had been a pupil of Andrea but
who, from the 1530s onwards, began to overlay that
style with mild Mannerist accents imported from
Pontormo, Rosso, and Parmigianino.7 Certainly the
face of the Kirkcaldy Madonna has (somewhat muted)
echoes of Rosso’s bright expressions. Characteristic
of Foschi are the wide, circular eyes, of the Virgin in
particular, as we encounter them in one of Foschi’s
finest portraits (fig. 8), and the pleated folds of her pinkred dress, as we see them in Foschi’s variant version
of one of Andrea’s most famous altarpieces, the Bracci
Holy Family in the Pitti (fig. 9), even if its attribution to
Foschi is undocumented and based purely on style.

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