This Botticelli Madonna was inspired by the Magnificat prayer, to which Christ gestures on the right-hand page of the open book (Fossi, 278). The opposite page alludes to the birth of John the Baptist, patron saint for the city of Florence. The youth dressed in ochre tones has facial features that are quite reminiscent of Gozzoli’s portrayal of Lorenzo the Magnificent in his fresco of the Magi.
Ettlinger, L.D. and Helen S. Ettlinger. Botticelli. New York: Oxford University Press, 1977.
Fossi, Gloria. Uffizi: Art, History, Collections. Milan: Giunti Editore, 2010.
Gregori, Mina. Paintings in the Uffizi & Pitti Galleries. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 1994.