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Past Exhibition

The Madonna and Child with St. John

Drawing of the Madonna with the Christ child on her lap and the young St. John the Baptist

The Madonna and Child with St. John, ca. 1516–17
Red chalk
12 3/8 x 9 3/16 in. (31.5 x 23.3 cm)
Galleria degli Uffizi, Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe, Florence
Courtesy the Ministero dei beni e delle attività culturali e del turismo

This sheet establishes almost exactly the composition of a painting of the same title now at the Galleria Borghese in Rome. The twisting Christ child (whose muscularity recalls Michelangelo's figures) demonstrates Andrea's mastery of complex poses and emphasizes the connection between mother and child, as Christ turns to meet Mary's gaze. The character of the young Baptist remains unresolved. His muddled face, containing pentimenti showing him facing in various directions, contrasts with the clarity of passages like the Virgin's hand reaching toward her breast.