Virgin and Child with Saint John the Baptist
|Dimensions:||29 × 48 × 4 cm, 14 kg with frame: 45 × 64 × 7.5 cm|
Although Giovan Francesco Rustici did not have any formal apprenticeship, his Preaching of Saint John the Baptist over the northern gate of the Florence
Baptistery is a masterpiece that ranks him among the greatest Italian sculptors. The Budapest shallow relief (rilievo schiacciato) was inspired by Donatello’s
(1386/1387−1466) work of the same subject dating from a century before, while Rustici borrowed some of its details from paintings by Paolo Uccello (ca. 1397−1475) and Sandro Botticelli (1444 or 1445−1510), and evoked antiquity by including the Pantheon. The rearing horse of Saint George reflects Leonardo’s (1452−1519) invention, exemplified by the famous bronze Horse and Rider in Budapest. These sophisticated references were principally addressed to humanists from the sculptor’s circle.