About this artwork
One of the most unorthodox artists in Renaissance Florence, Piero di Cosimo created paintings full of imaginative inventions that enliven traditional themes. Here, John the Baptist offers plums to the infant Jesus, who eagerly devours one while another lies half-eaten on the ground. At right, Saint Cecilia, patron of musicians, sings from a book of music, while wingless angels look on in the background.
The shadowed effect in the figures surrounding the Virgin and Child indicate that Piero altered his plans for the composition after he had begun painting: the artist painted them on top of the dark background color, which shows through the thin layers of paint on the surface.
- Piero di Cosimo
- Virgin and Child with the Young Saint John the Baptist, Saint Cecilia, and Angels
- Italy (Object made in)
- Oil on poplar panel
- Diam.: 75 cm (29 9/16 in.)
- Lacy Armour Fund