BICCI DI NERI
(b. 1419, Firenze, d. 1491, Firenze)
Adoration of the Christ Child with the Young St John the Baptist-
Tempera and gold on poplar panel, 48 x 38 cm
Bicci di Neri was a very productive, popular minor master in 15th-century Florence. Leading a family workshop that had been active for several generations, he worked for a private clientele for several decades, turning out works that show little change in style and are conservative in taste.
This is a characteristic painting by Bicci di Neri. While his figure types are instantly recognisable, the present work displays a sophistication in the disposition of the figures, particularly that of Joseph peering out from behind the architectural setting, as well as that of John the Baptist gazing into the the scene from the edge of the pictorial plane, which distinguishes it from the bulk of the artist's impressive catalogue.