Collection: Holy Family with Infant St. John the Baptist

ARTIST: Museum Religious Art Classics


Artist: Perino del Vaga – c. 1524 – 1526

Florentine by birth, Perino was trained in Raphael’s workshop in Rome, where he soon became one of the most inventive artists of his generation. This is a rare, early devotional painting. It includes traditional symbols such as the goldfinch (symbolic of the Resurrection), but also more unusual details, especially a young Saint John who is crowned with grape leaves and wears a leopard skin, usually associated with the god Bacchus—a mingling of pagan and Christian iconography.

The infant Christ seems to record the features of an actual child, indicating the care with which Perino approached this artwork.