The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne, or Madonna and Child with Saint Anne, is a subject in Christian art showing Saint Anne with her daughter, the Virgin Mary, and her grandson Jesus. This depiction has been popular in Germany and neighboring countries since the 14th century.
The relationship of St. Anne to the immaculate conception of her daughter is not explicit, but her mystical participation is implied. This should not be confused with the perpetual virginity of Mary or the virgin birth of Jesus. Although the belief was widely held since at least Late Antiquity, the doctrine was not formally proclaimed until December 8, 1854 when it was dogmatically defined in the Western Latin Rite by Pope Pius IX via his papal bull, Ineffabilis Deus. It was never explicitly so in the Eastern churches. More on Saint Anne, the Virgin and the Child Jesus
John the Baptist, known as the prophet Yahya in the Qur’an, was a Jewish itinerant preacher in the early first century AD. John is revered as a major religious figure in Christianity, Islam, the Bahá’í Faith, and Mandaeism. He is called a prophet by all of these traditions, and honoured as a saint in many Christian traditions.
John used baptism as the central sacrament of his messianic movement.[ Most scholars agree that John baptized Jesus. Scholars generally believe Jesus was a follower or disciple of John and several New Testament accounts report that some of Jesus’ early followers had previously been followers of John. John the Baptist is also mentioned by the Jewish historian Josephus. Some scholars maintain that John was influenced by the semi-ascetic Essenes, who expected an apocalypse and practiced rituals corresponding strongly with baptism, although no direct evidence substantiates this.
According to the New Testament, John anticipated a messianic figure greater than himself, and Jesus was the one whose coming John foretold. Christians commonly refer to John as the precursor or forerunner of Jesus, since John announces Jesus’ coming. John is also identified with the prophet Elijah. More on John the Baptist
Pier Francesco Foschi (1502–1567) was an Italian painter active in Florence in a Mannerist style. Also called Pier Francesco di Jacopo Foschi or Toschi. He was the son of Jacopo Sandro Foschi, known for his Madonna and Child with the Infant Saint John. (Utah Museum of Fine Arts). He completed 3 altarpieces, commissioned in 1540–1545 for the church of Santo Spirito in Florence: an Immaculate Conception, Resurrection, and a Transfiguration. Foschi was also influenced by Il Bronzino.
Foschi is best noted for his portraits painted between 1530 and 1540. In his portraits he adhered to the Mannerist style, utilizing a slight Contrapposto in the sitter with their head turned from the body. This pose gave the depiction a spontaneity and sense of movement for the innovative Mannerists, but was eventually so formulaic that it lost its intention of originality. More on Pier Francesco Foschi
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