(b. 1486, Firenze, d. 1530, Firenze)

Holy Family (Barberini)

c. 1528
Oil on wood, 140 x 104 cm
Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica, Rome

In his biography of Andrea del Sarto, Vasari mentions this painting right after a panel of the same subject painted for Zanobi Bracci. The latter picture survives: given to Cardinal Ferdinando de Medici it is now in the Galleria Palatina at the Palazzo Pitti in Florence. The picture now in Rome, painted for the same Zanobi, was originally installed in the chapel of the Villa di Rovezzano.

Numerous copies of this celebrated work exist. Art historians set the date of the composition at 1528-29, comparing it to the Madonna, St Elizabeth and St John the Baptist that Andrea executed for Ottaviano de' Medici. The figure of St Joseph is clearly related to the Raphaelesque model of the Louvre Sacred Family, once owned by King François I.