Baldovinetti, Cafaggiolo Altarpiece, c. 1454

Alesso Baldovinetti. Madonna and Child with Saints, Cafaggiolo Altarpiece. c. mid-1450s. Tempera on panel. 174 x 166 cm. Galleria degli Uffizi.

The Cafaggiolo altarpiece was the last commissioned by Cosimo the Elder, in the early 1450s, for a private family chapel in the Medici villa at Cafaggiolo to celebrate the birth of Piero’s second son, Giuliano. To the left of the Virgin  stand Lawrence and Julian, patron saints of Lorenzo and Giuliano, with this being the first apperance of Saint Julian in the iconography of Medici devotional images (Kent, 149).  Saint Francis and Saint Dominic, shown kneeling (Ady, 139), recall the family’s financial support of the Franciscan convent at Santa Croce and the Dominica convent at San Marco. Also in the altarpiece are the family’s saints, Cosmas and Damian, with Saint John the Baptist (patron saint of the city of Florence).


Ady, Julia Mary Cartwright. The Painters of Florence from the 13th to the 16th Century. London: John Murray, 1906.

Gregori, Mina. Paintings in the Uffizi & Pitti Galleries. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 1994.

Kennedy, Ruth Wedgwood. Alesso Baldovinetti: A Critical and Historical Study. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1938.

Kent, Dale. Cosimo De’ Medici and the Florentine Renaissance: The Patron’s Oeuvre. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000.


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