(active 1505-36)

Madonna and Child with Infant St John

c. 1505
Oil on panel, 78 x 64 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington

Yañez spent time in Florence and was powerfully influenced by Leonardo da Vinci, who had returned from Milan in April 1500. In fact, between 30 April and 10 August 1505, a certain "Ferrando Spagnuolo" received payments for assisting the master in the execution of the Battle of Anghiari in the Palazzo della Signoria. The painter in question must have been Yañez, as suggested by the recent attribution of the Madonna and Child with Infant St John of his Italian period. This picture combines motifs from the compositions by Leonardo, notably the Madonna of the Yarnwinder, and places them against a bright landscape derived from Flemish painting, an idea found in paintings of Raphael and Fra Bartolommeo. Yañez continued to draw on Leonardo's vocabulary for the rest of his life, re-using motifs such as the extended, foreshortened hand of the Virgin until they became clichés.