(b. 1494, Pontormo, d. 1557, Firenze)


Fresco, 392 x 337 cm
Santissima Annunziata, Florence

Like Andrea del Sarto and Rosso, early in his career Pontormo worked in the church of Santissima Annunziata in Florence where he executed the Visitation as part of the decorative cycle of the Scenes from the Life of the Virgin in the Chiostrino dei Voti.

The painting depicts the meeting of Mary and her cousin Elizabeth, both with child, symbolically prefiguring the future interaction of their sons, Jesus and John the Baptist. Pontormo shows himself as under the spell of Raphael, arranging his composition on a set of low steps, similar to Raphael's School of Athens. There is an element of refinement and elegance in this work of Pontormo, both in the poses of the figures and in the creation of the architectural backdrop.