Giovanni Galizzi, “The Holy Family with Mary Magdalene,” oil on canvas, 53 1/2 x 70 1/4 in. © Sotheby’s

In this ongoing series for Fine Art Today, we take a longer look at the history and features of a soon-to-be-available artwork of note. This week we feature a highlight of Sotheby’s upcoming “Old Masters” Sale.

Although he is a rather obscure 16th-century Venetian painter, Giovanni Galizzi features beautifully during Sotheby’s May 3 “Old Masters” sale in London. Through the adroit research of Professor Peter Humfrey and Robert Echols, “The Holy Family with Mary Magdalene” has been attributed to Galizzi and not Bonifacio de’Pitati, as was previously believed.

As its title suggests, the painting displays four figures: Mary, Joseph, Christ, and Mary Magdalene. Set against a lush landscape, the figures all gaze toward the infant Christ, who — in turn — gestures back towards the Virgin. “The treatment here of the drapery over the Madonna’s bust, and the rendering of her pose, is particularly comparable to the Madonna in Galizzi’s Adoration of the Magi, executed toward the end of the 1540s,” Sotheby’s writes. “The overall composition, however, is more Bellinesque and in keeping with his Sacra Conversazione ‘types’ produced in the earlier years of that decade.”

Auction estimates are between $36,000 and $61,000. To learn more, visit Sotheby’s.

This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.

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Andrew Webster is the former Editor of Fine Art Today and worked as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.


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