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Pier Francesco Foschi (1502 - 1567)

Lot 91: PIER FRANCESCO FOSCHI (Florence 1502-1567)


January 26, 2001
New York, NY, US

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The Madonna and Child with the Infant Saint John the Baptist with inscription on reverse of panel 'Andrea del Sarto' oil on panel 403/4 x 317/8 in. (103.5 x 81 cm.) NOTES Foschi appears to have occupied a position of great importance for his contemporaries, and was singled out for praise by both Vasari and Borghini. It seems that he worked in Andrea del Sarto's studio until the latter's death in 1530, and his subsequent style shares certain features with that of Puligo. In 1536, he assisted Pontormo at the Villa Medici of Careggi, whereafter he established his reputation with Saint Peter and St. Philip Benizzi (Pisa, San Frediano a Settimo) and a Madonna and Saint (Florence, San Barnaba). The influence of del Sarto is evident in the present work. There are strong reminiscences of his Medici Holy Family (Florence, Pitti Palace), and the Christ Child appears to derive partly from his Zanobi Bracci Holy Family (Florence, Palazzo Pitti). Highly typical of Foschi's manner is the sculptural treatment of drapery, rendered in crisp, flat folds parallel to the picture plane. The color's range and juxtaposition in the Madonna's garments is characteristic of Florentine Mannerist painting during the mid-late 1520s, after Pontormo's Sta. Felicita Deposition had made the shot, acid color of the Sistine Ceiling frescoes fashionable in Tuscany. In contrast to the increasingly complex iconography being developed by his Tuscan contemporaries, Foschi favors in the present work a straightforward approach which recalls High Renaissance principles. The directness of the imagery in this picture relates Foschi to emergent Counter-Reformation ideals rather than to the deliberate perversity of much contemporary painting.

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January 26, 2001, 12:00 AM EST

New York, NY, US