Рождение Иоанна Крестителя {2605}
Birth of St John the Baptist
Гирландайо Д.
Domenico Ghirlandaio
Флоренция: церковь Санта Мария Новелла
Florence: Santa Maria Novella
One of the most beautiful and most Florentine of the stories is certainly the Birth of the Baptist, which is fully described and interpreted by Vasari. In this scene there is a great harmony between the figures and their surroundings, between motion and movement. There is the weary but contended abandonment of Elisabeth receiving her visitors in a large bed, her tender face illumined by the bright light that enters from the small high window. The same light makes the sheet brighter and gives a sparkle to the bottles and glasses set on the large tray carried in by a young maid, who is clearly delineated against the dark flowered curtain. The room, the high bed on its raised platform, the linear architecture and the coffered ceiling are all in a Florentine style. Florentine too are the hairstyles of the wet-nurses and of the ladies who are making their entrance. One of the ladies, the eldest with her hair wrapped in a white headcloth is almost certainly Lucrezia Tornabuoni, the mother of Lorenzo il Magnifico and sister of Giovanni.
Lucrezia Tornabuoni had been a woman of noble virtues; she was a poetess, was interested in political affairs, was received by the Papal court in Rome. It is no surprise to find her here, at this birth, for among her poetical works there was also a life of St John the Baptist.
Lucrezia accompanies a beautiful, unidentified maiden who probably belonged to the Tornabuoni family. She is very young and splendidly dressed up, her blond hair framing a tender face that reveals a slight frown, as if to demonstrate how preoccupied she is by the task she has been entrusted with - that of honoring the saint in childbirth. Her manner is intended to be uninhibited, though she is evidently embarassed, as if this were really one of her first appearences in public.
From Stories of the Baptist.
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