The Virgin and Child with Little Saint Jean

  • The Virgin and Child with Little Saint Jean
The encounter between Jesus and John the Baptist when they were kids is an apocryphal theme that seduced the Italian painters of the Renaissance by its humanity. The prophecy of John announcing the coming of Christ is recalled by the phylactery bearing the inscription ECCE AGNUS DEI ("Here is the Lamb of God"). 

Sabatini was the main propagator of Raphael's style in the viceroyalty of Naples. The triangular arrangement of the characters, the soft expression of Mary and the delicate shadows shaping the flesh are all elements linked to the tradition of Raphael's Madonnas in Florence. 

This work comes from the important collection of antiquities and paintings gathered by the Italian aristocrat Giampietro Campana (1808-1880). It was largely bought by France in 1861 and shared between the Louvre Museum and the provincial museums. 

1st third of the XVI Century
Oil on poplar 
90 x 65,8 cm
Campana Collection
Purchase from the State  (1861), sent to the Museum of Metz (1863)
Transfer of State Property to the City of Metz, 2006
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