The Holy Family with Saint John the Baptist

Workshop of Fra Bartolomeo (Bartolomeo di Paolo del Fattorino) Italian

Not on view

Quickly drawn in black chalk, this study was formerly part of the same sketchbook which likely also included two studies for a Madonna and Child with Infant St. John of almost the same size: one in the Museum’s collection (no. 80.3.134; black chalk, 14.3 x 11.6 cm) and the other one in The Morgan Library & Museum, New York (inv. IV,8; black chalk, 13.5 x 9.7 cm). Even though the drawings show similarities with Fra’ Bartolomeo’s shorthand and late draftsmanship, the three sketchbook sheets should be attributed to a talented member of his workshop, possibly the monk Fra’ Paolino da Pistoia (1488-1547), who inherited his master’s drawings and cartoons at his death in 1517. Visible in the background of the present composition is the trunk of a palm tree, a narrative detail indicating that the scene takes place after the Holy Family's arrival in Egypt (Matthew 2:13–23). The pyramidal structure of the three drawings and their use of blended black chalk to create atmosphere are signs of the admiration of Fra Bartolomeo and his workshop for the graphic work of Leonardo da Vinci. (Furio Rinaldi)

The Holy Family with Saint John the Baptist, Workshop of Fra Bartolomeo (Bartolomeo di Paolo del Fattorino) (Italian, Florence 1473–1517 Florence), Black chalk

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.