Biennale Internazionale di Antiquariato

Palazzo Corsini, Florence, September 2015
After centuries abroad, a major Renaissance altarpiece known as 'The Madonna of the Girdle', is being brought home to Florence by Moretti Fine Art. This impressive work (216 x 180.5cm) by Francesco Granacci, represents the Madonna appearing to Saints Thomas, Benedict of Nursia, Francis and Julian the Hospitalier. It was commissioned by The Compagnia di San Benedetto Bigio et in Palco for The Chiostro della Porta in Santa Maria Novella. Moretti Fine Artwill exhibit the work at Palazzo Corsini from 26th September to the 4th October on the occasion of the 29th edition of the BIAF - The Biennale Internazionale dell'Antiquariato di Firenze.


At various times, the work has been attributed to no less than Raphael but otherwise to Fra Bartolommeo and Ridolfo Ghirlandaio, is now unanimously recognised as being by their contemporary, Francesco Granacci. Granacci trained in the Florentine studio of Domenico Ghirlandaio along with Michelangelo, whose influence undoubtedly effected the development of Granacci’s own style. The unity and range of colours and the harmony of the composition are typical of Granacci’s manner, whilst the sculptural depiction of the drapery is reminiscent of Michelangelo.


The panel depicts the later reappearance of the Virgin to Saint Thomas who, kneeling in the company of the Apostles, catches the girdle as it falls from the heaven-bound Virgin. The present work constitutes a crucial addition to our understanding of Granacci’s oeuvre - for it is one of the few for which there are surviving documents concerning the commission.


There are two silverpoint drawings related to this composition, one for the head of Saint Francis, the other for the hands of Saint Thomas (Uffizi, inv. 186F, 14516F). In 1517, Granacci created a similar altarpiece on this subject for the Medici Chapel in San Pier Maggiore in Florence, which is now in the Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, Florida. 
Palazzo Corsini
Lungarno Corsini
26 September - 4 October
Opening Hours: 10.30am - 8pm
(1 October: 10.30am - 7pm)
September 15, 2015