AMBIT OF FEDERICO BAROCCI (Urbino, 1535 circa - 1612)
Holy Family with the Young Saint John the Baptist
Oil on panel, cm. 53x34
Ancient cartouche stuck on the back of the panel with handwritten inscription: “BAROZZO (FEDERICO) DI URBINO M. 1612/ CHI VORRà PRIVARSI DI QUESTA SACRA FAMIGLIA BELLISSIMA, NON ABBIA Né FAME Né FRETTA/ NON DOMANDI LIRE O DUCATI / MA ZECCHINI; E LI AVRà.”
The table shows a close relationship with the engraving by Hendrick Goltzius signed and dated 1593, from which it differs only for the clouds and the four little angels. The peculiar naturalistic insertions of the wicker basket with the cloths, of the metal vase with the Marian lilies and of the cat on the window that captures a little bird are quite similar. Goltzius later decided to insert the engraving in the series of six burins of the Life of the Virgin, considered one of his masterpieces. The close dependence on Federico Barocci’s style of the Holy Family with St. John the Baptist has always been emphasized (think of the so-called Madonna del gatto of the National Gallery in London), confirming the constant "Italian" inspiration of the Flemish artist and his mimetic ability compared to the style of the great masters of the Italian sixteenth century.