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The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens is committed to engage and inspire through the arts, gardens and education. A permanent collection of nearly 5,000 works of art on a riverfront campus offers more than 95,000 annual visitors a truly unique experience on the First Coast. Nationally recognized education programs serve adults and children of all abilities.

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#50 Giorgio Vasari: The Holy Family with the Infant, St. John the Baptist



Giorgio Vasari (Italian, 1511 – 1574), The Holy Family with the Infant, St. John, the Baptist, c. 1540, oil on panel, 42 ¾ x 32 1/8 in., Museum purchase with Council funds, AP.1989.3.1.



The intense, bright colors and exaggerations in scale of this asymmetrical composition demonstrate Giorgio Vasari’s close affiliation with the Mannerist style of painting.  The Virgin Mary and St. Joseph are shown as caring parents of the Christ Child, who holds a goldfinch in his left hand. The bird is seen as a foreshadowing of the Crucifixion, as is the inscription on the banderole, Agnus Dei, or Lamb of God.  St. John the Baptist is clad in the animal furs that foretell his preaching in the wilderness.

In addition to his successful work as a painter, Giorgio Vasari achieved fame as the author of Lives of the Most Eminent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects (Florence, 1568), an important history of Italian Renaissance artists.

Keep an eye out every week for more visitor favorites.  We will be highlighting each of the top fifty pieces during our 50th Anniversary year.  If you want a more intimate encounter, stop by the museum and see these masterpieces for yourself!

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