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Under the Roman Sun: Landscape, Brigands, and the Late Grand Tour


Madonna and Child with the Infant Saint John the Baptist

Santi di Tito (Italian, Sansepolcro 1536–1603 Florence)

early 1570s
Oil on wood
40 7/8 x 33 3/4 in. (103.8 x 85.7 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Jules Fisher, in memory of Roy Fisher, and Purchase, Friends of European Paintings Gifts, 2012
Accession Number:
  • Gallery Label

    Santi di Tito’s work was exceptional in the latter half of the sixteenth century in Florence for its shift towards naturalism and away from the artificiality of much Mannerist painting. This panel was probably painted in the 1570s, and recalls the work of earlier artists such as Raphael and Andrea del Sarto, but with a new immediacy and painterly quality. The exceptionally fine frame is of the same period.

  • Catalogue Entry


  • Provenance

    Walter J. Abraham, London (in 1928); Fairleigh Dickinson University, Madison, N.J. (until 1981; sale, Sotheby's, New York, June 11, 1981, no. 87, to Fisher); M. Roy Fisher, New York (1981–d. 1992; on loan to MMA from 1982); his brother, Jules Fisher, New York (until 2012; on loan to MMA)

  • Exhibition History

    London. Grafton Galleries. "Art Treasures," April 30–May 26, 1928, no. 1419 (as by Pontormo, lent by Walter J. Abraham).

  • References

    Simona Lecchini Giovannoni. "Studi e disegni preparatori di Santi di Tito." Paragone 35 (September 1984), pp. 24, 33 n. 20, pl. 25a, includes it with a group of Holy Family compositions that she dates to the 1580s and 1590s; mentions the version with Piero Corsini as a replica.

    Barbara Wollesen-Wisch. Italian Renaissance Art: Selections from the Piero Corsini Gallery. Exh. cat., Museum of Art, The Pennsylvania State University. [University Park, Pa.], 1986, pp. 56–57, under no. 20, fig. 8, relates it to the artist's studiolo panels of 1571–72 in the Palazzo Vecchio, Florence, while dating the Corsini version somewhat later; notes the pentimenti in the Virgin's eyebrows.

  • Notes

    A later version formerly with Piero Corsini (private collection, London, in 1987) is slightly larger and includes the figure of Joseph in the background as well as changes to the architecture.

    A drawing by Santi in the Worcester Art Museum (2011.311) of four sketches of the Holy Family includes a figure group close to this one.

  • See also
    In the Museum