The Virgin adoring the Child with Saint Joseph

This painting probably dates from shortly before 1511 at a time when Fra Bartolommeo was in partnership with Mariotto Albertinelli (1475 - 1515). A version of the composition by Albertinelli (Rome, Borghese Gallery) with this date is probably based on Fra Bartolommeo's cartoon.

A drawing by Fra Bartolommeo (Paris, Louvre) suggests that the design was originally to be focused more directly upon the figures, with Saint Joseph prominent to the left and with the Baptist embracing the Christ Child. The painter has included an unusual detail showing painters at work frescoing the wall above the archway. The infant Saint John the Baptist appears in the middle distance.

Key facts

Artist dates
1472? - 1517
Full title
The Virgin adoring the Child with Saint Joseph
Date made
before 1511
Medium and support
Oil on wood
137.8 x 104.8 cm
Acquisition credit
Mond Bequest, 1924
Inventory number
Location in Gallery