The Holy Family with the Young Saint John the Baptist

Artist: Andrea del Sarto (Andrea d'Agnolo) (Italian, Florence 1486–1530 Florence)

Medium: Oil on wood

Dimensions: 53 1/2 x 39 5/8 in. (135.9 x 100.6 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Maria DeWitt Jesup Fund, 1922

Accession Number: 22.75


This grand Holy Family was painted in 1528 or 1529 for the Florentine Giovanni Borgherini, who was prominent during the city’s brief-lived Republic, before the Medici family re-established their rule. Christ shares his orb with his cousin, Saint John, Florence’s patron saint—a symbolism adopted by the Republican government. Sarto was known as "the painter without defects," and this reputation is fully evident in the masterful drawing of the figures, the nobility and complexity of their gestures, and the sumptuous color. The frame is of the late sixteenth century, possibly Florentine.