BAROCCI, Federico Fiori
(b. 1526, Urbino, d. 1612, Urbino)

Rest on the Flight to Egypt

Oil on canvas
Pinacoteca, Vatican

Even in his smaller canvasses which were painted for private chapels or collectors, Barocci abandoned the often cold calligraphy of the Mannerists. Instead, he favoured delicate images, rosy colours, soft light, and landscape settings. This did not mean that Barocci was not also a refined painter. Indeed, in a painting like this the way that the gestures and looks of the characters link to each other shows that he studied his compositions carefully. But what he did not do was to show off cleverness for its own sake. The way that he accurately describes a number of details (the fruits, the metal objects, or the items in the bottom left corner) foreshadows the imminent developments that would give rise to the new (for Italy) genre of still-lifes. This is yet another confirmation of Barocci's key role in a time of transition.