Painter/Artist: Andrea Verrocchio

Florentine School. Pupil of Donatello in sculpture, and Alesso Baldovinetti in painting. His paintings are few, but his drawings and the famous Colleoni equestrian statue in Venice proclaim him one of the greatest masters.

LONDON, NATIONAL GALLERY

MADONNA AND CHILD WITH ANGELS The Virgin, three-quarter length, is seated nearly full face, her hands raised in prayer. The Child lies on her knees holding a mulberry in one hand. An angel stands behind Him holding Him, and looking towards us. On the left is another angel in profile looking up, holding a lily in his left hand. Dark red curtains overhead, and a landscape background.

“Designed and superintended by Verrocchio.” (Berenson.) Formerly attributed to Ghirlandaio and Pollaiuolo. Purchased in Florence, 1857.

FLORENCE, ACADEMY

THE BAPTISM OF CHRIST In the centre foreground Christ is standing with clasped hands in a shallow stream (which winds away into the landscape background), while on the right the Baptist in profile raises his right arm to pour the water over Christ’s head, his left arm hanging at his side holding the crossed staff. Christ is clad only in a striped loin cloth. On the left, kneeling under a small palm-tree on the flat rocky bank of the stream, are two young angels, the one half hidden by the other. The face of the latter, in profile, upturned towards the Saviour, is strongly reminiscent of the manner of Leonardo in The Virgin of the Rocks.