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Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Holy Family

Jacopino del Conte (Italian, Florentine, 1515–1598)
Oil on wood
47 1/2 x 33 3/4 in. (120.7 x 85.7 cm)
Credit Line:
Bequest of Harry G. Sperling, 1971
Accession Number:
Not on view
?Chalandon family, Paris; [dealer, ?Paris, until 1949]; [Otto Wertheimer, Paris, 1949–58; as by Pontormo; sold for $4,762 to Kleinberger]; [Kleinberger, New York, 1958–75; as by Pontormo, later as by Pier Francesco Foschi; bequeathed by Harry G. Sperling, last surviving partner of firm, to MMA]
Baltimore Museum of Art. "Bacchiacca and His Friends," January 10–February 19, 1961, no. 86 (as by an unidentified artist, lent anonymously).

Poughkeepsie. Vassar College Art Gallery. "Problem Pictures: Paintings Without Authors," October 13–November 15, 1965, no. 5 (as "Madonna and Child with St. Joseph," Florentine, XVI Century, lent anonymously).

Notre Dame, Ind. Art Gallery, University of Notre Dame. "The Age of Vasari," February 22–March 31, 1970, no. P1 (as Anonymous Florentine, 16th century, lent by H. [sic] Kleinberger & Co., Inc.).

University Art Gallery, State University of New York at Binghamton. "The Age of Vasari," April 12–May 10, 1970, no. P1.

John Shearman. Andrea del Sarto. Oxford, 1965, vol. 1, p. 169 n. 3, mentions it among a number of distinguished problem paintings of Sarto's school that are likely to remain unattributed.

Thomas J. McCormick. Problem Pictures: Paintings Without Authors. Exh. cat., Vassar College Art Gallery. Poughkeepsie, 1965, unpaginated, no. 5, notes that "Mazo da San Fraiano" has been suggested as the author of the painting, and that the figure of Saint Joseph may be based on the apostle in the upper left corner of Andrea del Sarto's Pietà (Palazzo Pitti, Florence) of about 1523–24.

Iris H. Cheney. "Notes on Jacopino del Conte." Art Bulletin 52 (March 1970), p. 35, comments that it appears to be a work by Jacopino del Conte and dates it about 1536–38; notes that the composition derives from Andrea del Sarto's Borgherini Madonna (MMA 22.75).

Valentino Pace. "Osservazione sull'attività giovanile di Jacopino del Conte." Bollettino d'arte 57 (July–December 1972), p. 222 n. 12, rejects Cheney's attribution to Jacopino, declining, with studies in their present state, to propose another.

Federico Zeri. Letter to Elizabeth E. Gardner. March 8, 1974, believes it is by Jacopino del Conte.

Sydney J. Freedberg. Letter to Robert B. Simon. August 11, 1975, firmly believes it to be by Jacopino del Conte.

Valentino Pace. Letter to Robert B. Simon. December 11, 1975, rejects Cheney's attribution to Jacopino and tentatively suggests the very young Salviati; concedes that a more "prudent" attribution would be to an anonymous Florentine; dates the painting to about 1530–35.

Edmund P. Pillsbury. Letter to Robert B. Simon. August 19, 1975, thinks the painting is close to Jacopino del Conte and dates it about 1550.

John Shearman. Letter to Robert B. Simon. September 24, 1975, feels fairly certain that it was painted in Florence in the 1530s, probably by a pupil of Andrea del Sarto who was also influenced by the work of Pontormo around 1530; feels strongly that the names that have ben suggested (i.e., Pontormo, Jacopino del Conte, Pier Francesco Foschi) are all wrong.

Federico Zeri. "Rivedendo Jacopino del Conte." Antologia di belle arti no. 6 (May 1978), pp. 114, 116, fig. 1, attributes it to Jacopino del Conte and notes the relationship of the Saint Joseph to a figure in Andrea del Sarto's Sarzana altarpiece of 1528; dates the picture about 1530.

S[ydney]. J. Freedberg. "Jacopino del Conte: An Early Masterpiece for the National Gallery of Art." Studies in the History of Art 18 (1985), p. 63, fig. 7, attributes it to Jacopino del Conte, dating it about 1532.

Anna Matteoli. "Una S. Famiglia di Maso da S. Friano." Mitteilungen des Kunsthistorischen Institutes in Florenz 29, no. 2/3 (1985), pp. 390–95, fig. 3, attributes it to Maso da San Friano, dating it between 1560 and 1565; notes the influence of Andrea del Sarto in the head of Saint Joseph, and compares the figure of the Virgin with others by Maso, as in his Adoration of the Shepherds (Palazzo Pitti, Florence).

Enrico Bassan in Dizionario biografico degli italiani. Vol. 36, Rome, 1988, p. 462.

Philippe Costamagna and Anne Fabre. "Di alcuni problemi della bottega di Andrea del Sarto." Paragone 42 (January 1991), p. 23, pl. 30, note Zeri's observation that the figure of Saint Joseph is based on a figure in Andrea del Sarto's Sarzana altarpiece.

Iris Cheney in The Dictionary of Art. Ed. Jane Turner. Vol. 6, New York, 1996, p. 776, ill., observes a Michelangelesque monumentality and sculptural density in the figures that are reminiscent of Andrea del Sarto's paintings of the Holy Family.

A. Vannugli in Allgemeines Künstlerlexikon: die bildenden Künstler aller Zeiten und Völker. Vol. 20, Munich, 1998, p. 600.

Robert G. La France. Bachiacca: Artist of the Medici Court. Florence, 2008, p. 246, suggests that the Madonna's pose and gesture, together with that found in Bacchiacca's "Madonna and Child with the Young Saint John the Baptist" (Matthiesen Gallery, London), derive from Madonnas by Andrea del Sarto.

Andrea Donati. Michelangelo Buonarroti, Jacopino del Conte, Daniele Ricciarelli: Ritratto e figura nel manierismo a Roma. San Marino, 2010, pp. 124–25, fig. 144, relates the figure of the Christ Child to that of Saint John the Baptist in a drawing of the Madonna and Child by Michelangelo (Windsor Castle, Royal Library).

Michela Corso. "Jacopino del Conte nel contesto artistico romano tra gli anni trenta e gli anni cinquanta del Cinquecento." PhD diss., Università degli Studi Roma Tre, [2014], p. 24 n. 52, pp. 25, 36, 64, 69–71, 73, figs. 53 (color), 54 (detail).

This painting was attributed to Andrea del Sarto when Wertheimer acquired it in 1949. At Kleinberger it was ascribed Pontormo until 1961, when the attribution was changed to Pier Francesco Foschi.
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