Five centuries ago, Francesco d’Ubertino Verdi (1494–1557), the Italian Renaissance painter known as Bachiacca, was a versatile and popular Florentine artist. Today his oil-and-gold-on-panel painting Madonna and Child still evokes the timeless traditions of Christmas.
Bachiacca met the needs of his patrons by skillfully adapting to changing fashions, whether creating large altarpieces, small paintings, wall and ceiling decorations, or designs for intricate tapestries. His compositions emphasize ornament and landscape backgrounds, and art historians note his eye for exotic costuming and his careful depictions of animals and plants.
Around 1540, Bachiacca became a court painter to the duke of Florence, Cosimo de’ Medici, who had made the Palazzo Vecchio his residence and required an artist for a wide range of interior decoration. For nearly the rest of his life, Bachiacca created ceiling decorations for the duke and duchess, as well as mural and easel paintings, tapestries, costumes and masks.
Dated from the early 1520s, the Madonna and Childstamp shows Christ clutching a bouquet of jasmine, a symbol of divine love.
This painting is part of the Jack and Belle Linsky Collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. William J. Gicker served as art director and Greg Breeding was the designer.