Adoration of the Christ Child, Francesco Granacci


Francesco Granacci (Italian, 1469–1543) 

Adoration of the Christ Child, c. 1500 

Tempera on wood panel Gift of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, 1961 (2987.1)

Francesco Granacci trained and worked with Michelangelo on the Sistine Ceiling, though his time on the project was brief, perhaps due to what Giorgio Vasari, a 16th-century biographer, alluded to as an easygoing personality and tendency to avoid unnecessary effort or thought. In his Adoration of the Christ Child, which neither confirms nor conflicts with Vasari’s characterization of the artist, Granaccihe depicts the Holy Family and anthe infant Saint John the Baptist kneeling to adorein adoration to the Christ child. Like Michelangelo and his contemporaries, Granacci looked to classical sculpture to impart The figures appear monumentality to the figures, and, like Michelangelo and his contemporaries, Granacci he used bright and contrasting colors for Mary’s and Joseph’s robes to heighten the sense of immediacy. Christ reaches out totowards his mother in a playful manner, and his gaze meets his cousin’s, who, as an adult, predicted the arrival of a messianic figure and baptized Christ in the River Jordan.
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