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Virgin and Child with St. John

(Italian, c. 1508–c. 1550)
(Italian, 1503–1540)
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This chiaroscuro woodcut is designed after a preliminary drawing by Parmigianino, only differing in the addition of a detailed background of lush foliage.


Enclosed in an oval and intimate space, the Virgin Mary holds Christ the Child on her lap, with the young Saint John the Baptist arranged to one side. Jesus's right sole is placed on the frame, creating the illusion his foot is resting on it. In his chiaroscuro woodcuts, Antonio da Trento usually favored gray ink rather than black for the line block, aiming for a pale effect and tonal unity. Furthermore, he exploited fine webs of hatching and cross-hatching to create contrasts between vigorous highlights and deep dark shadows. In all of these printing refinements, Antonio's technique was similar to Ugo da Carpi's chiaroscuro method, suggesting a close working relationship between these two printmakers.
Virgin and Child with St. John

Virgin and Child with St. John


Antonio da Trento, Parmigianino

(Italian, c. 1508–c. 1550), (Italian, 1503–1540)
Italy, 16th century

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