Description of the picture:
The Holy Family with little John the Baptist (Madonna Stroganova) – Agnolo Bronzino. Around 1540. Oil on canvas. 117×99
The largest representative of mannerism is the Florentine Agnolo Bronzino (1503-1572), a court painter of Cosimo I of Medici, the Grand Duke of Tuscany. “The Holy Family with Little John the Baptist” was written shortly after the marriage of Cosimo I and Eleanor of Toledo. The canvas is distinguished by brilliance and virtuosity of execution. It gives a vivid idea of the art of Bronzino, creatively translating the ideas of the great Michelangelo.
The composition of the picture is deliberately complicated by the artist, he uses sophisticated multidirectional angles when placing figures in space, masterfully combining fluency in the drawing, impeccable plastic mass ratios and an exquisite pictorial solution. In the images of the saints one can guess the resemblance to members of the Medici family, whose portrait images are well known. So, St. Joseph, depicted in profile, recalls Cosimo I himself, Madonna – his wife, and the Baby Christ – their eldest son Giovanni."