The Medici Holy Family, 1529
Oil on panel
55 1/8 x 40 15/16 in. (140 x 104 cm)
Palazzo Pitti, Galleria Palatina, Florence
Courtesy the Ministero dei beni e delle attività culturali e del turismo
This depiction of the Virgin and Child with St. Elizabeth and her son, St. John the Baptist, under a stormy sky epitomizes the solemn, sacred paintings for which Andrea is best known. The pentimento in Christ’s leg is an insight into Andrea's development of the composition, a process further illuminated by preparatory drawings like the Study of the Head of an Old Woman and the infrared reflectogram of this painting. According to Giorgio Vasari, Ottaviano de’ Medici commissioned the painting — hence the title by which it is known.