17th century ITALIAN school, Follower of RAPHAEL
La Madonna del passeggio
80 x 63.5 cm
Our work is an old copy by a 17th century Italian artist of an oil on wood by Raphael kept in the National Gallery of Scotland (Edinburgh), dated around 1516 . The scene refers to the popular stories of the youth of St John the Baptist, which prefigure his role as a preacher in the desert and the Baptism of Christ.
It is set in an idyllic landscape and illustrates the encounter between Mary and the infant Jesus, on their return from Egypt, and her cousin St John the Baptist. The latter is dressed in animal skin and bows with tenderness towards the face of Jesus, leaning on his crossed reed stick, from which hangs a phylactery. The Virgin delicately places her right hand on his head, while holding her son on the other. In the background on the left, Joseph is observing the scene. The whiteness of Christ's body contrasts with the tanned skin of his cousin.
Our composition is a beautiful testimony to the strong influence and admiration that Raphael aroused among artists and patrons of the 17th century.