• Holy Family with St Elizabeth

    Artist:
    Primaticcio, Francesco. 1505-1570
    Technique:
    oil
    Dimensions:
    43,5x31 cm

Primaticcio, Francesco. 1505-1570

Holy Family with St Elizabeth

Italy, 1540s (?)

Francesco Primaticcio’s Holy Family in the Hermitage can be considered to have a close analogy in Marcantonio Raimondi’s engraving “Madonna of the Long Thigh” after a drawing by Raphael. They have much in common: the overall compositional approach, the loose arrangement of the seated figures, their elongated proportions and the surrealistic architectural background that invests both scenes with a note of melancholic mystery. The striving after a pronounced elegance of forms, only suggested in Raphael’s composition, has been taken to the extreme in Primaticcio’s work. The Virgin’s miniature head, supported on a long, slender, curved neck, with a pointed chin and huge eyes, Elizabeth’s dark face, reminiscent of a mask, Mary’s incredibly long, thin bird-claw-like hands and equally disproportionately lengthy thighs – along with other anatomical absurdities – are a consequence of a completely unbridled pursuit of elegance, refinement and gracefulness that comes from Parmigianino and Correggio, but has its roots in Raphael’s art.

School:

Title:

Holy Family with St Elizabeth

Place:

Date:

Material:

Technique:

oil

Dimensions:

43,5x31 cm

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage in 1772; acquired from the collection of L.A. Crozat, Baron de Thiers, in Paris

Inventory Number:

ГЭ-128

Category:

Collection:

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