Colnaghi Foundation Journal 03 - Page 18



16
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. 6 / Domenico Puligo, Holy
Family with the Infant Saint
John the Baptist, ca. 1525-1527,
oil on panel, 130.9 x 95.4 cm,
Florence, Galleria Palatina,
Palazzo Pitti.
Fig. 4 / Domenico Puligo,
Madonna and Child with Saint
John the Baptist, after 1520,
oil on panel, 96 x 70.5 cm,
Florence, Galleria Palatina,
Palazzo Pitti.
Fig. 5 / Attributed to
Domenico Puligo, Holy Family
with the Infant Saint John
the Baptist, 1520s or later, oil
on panel, 103.4 x 77.8 cm,
Nantes, Musée d’Arts.
A pensive prettiness presides in both the Kirkcaldy
panel and Foschi’s Virgin and Child with the Infant
Saint John (see fig. 9) that is different from Andrea’s
and Puligo’s more melancholy meditations, through
strained, intense expressions, on the Christ Child’s
future destiny of suffering. However, in the last
resort, Morellian details, such as the different, almost
Leonardesque curls of Foschi’s Christ Child, derived
from Andrea, may preclude him.
An even lesser master whose works bear comparison,
without however quite shaping up in all details, or
indeed in colour (except perhaps in the landscape)
is the anonymous Master of Volterra who, as one
can see from a picture attributed to him of the same
subject in a private collection (fig. 10), was similarly
indebted to Puligo and Andrea at a lower technical
level.8 However, the Kirkcaldy panel is arguably
more expressive – and more beautiful, even if the
hands of the two children are weak in their current
state. Nevertheless, the group of pictures loosely
gathered under this Volterra sobriquet, which was
coined by Federico Zeri in allusion to the altarpiece
of the Madonna and Christ Child with Saints in the
Conservatorio dei Santi Pietro e Lino in Volterra,9
are clearly not all by the same hand, and indeed
of very variable quality. So it is possible that one
or more individual paintings in this group could
measure up better in comparison with the Kirkcaldy
picture than others.
Fig. 7 / Copy after Domenico
Puligo, Madonna and Child
with Saint John the Baptist,
after 1520, oil on panel, Private
Collection.
17

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