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After Andrea d'Agnolo, called Andrea del Sarto
After Andrea d'Agnolo, called Andrea del Sarto

The Holy Family with the Infant Saint John the Baptist

After Andrea d'Agnolo, called Andrea del Sarto
The Holy Family with the Infant Saint John the Baptist
with signature in monogram 'ADS' (upper left) and inscribed 'ECE·AGNVS·D' (centre)
oil on panel
52½ x 39¼ in. (133.4 x 99.6 cm.)
in an early nineteenth-century neo-classical giltwood frame
Possibly John Rushout, 1st Earl of Northwick (1738-1800), and by descent to his daughter, Elizabeth Bowles Rushout, who married
John Wallis Grieve (1791-1861).
Frederick Jones, Bedford, where acquired on 15 October 1931 (17 gns.).
Luton News, 15 August 1935.

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Lot Essay

The Holy Family with Saint John the Baptist, painted for the Bracci family circa 1523, now in the Galleria Palatina at the Palazzo Pitti, Florence (no. 62), was one of the most arresting and original of the series of devotional compositions evolved by the most influential painter of the High Renaissance in Florence, Andrea del Sarto. Sarto ran a busy studio and the fact that fragments of the cartoon for this composition are recorded suggest that the artist himself intended to delegate the execution of the picture to assistants.
The Bracci picture was frequently copied in the 16th century; Shearman in 1965 lists 12 examples (J.K.G. Shearman, Andrea del Sarto, II, 1965, p. 258, no. 66). One, no longer traceable, was supplied by Alessandro Allori to replace the original when this was dispatched by Cardinal Ferdinando de'Medici at Rome in 1579. This example, by an efficient Florentine copyist, is presumably of the second quarter of the sixteenth century.
The panel is impressed with the wax seal of John Wallis Grieve (1791-1861) who married Elizabeth Bowles Rushout, daughter of John Rushout, 1st Earl of Northwick, in 1819. Grieves bought a cornetcy in the 2nd Life Guards in 1813. In 1821 having been in financial difficulties for some time, and living in France to avoid imprisonment for debt, he was forced out of the army for failing to return from leave.
The frame suggests that this painting changed hands in the early nineteenth century when interest in pictures of this kind was beginning to revive.

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