Madonna of the Cat (Barocci)

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Madonna del Gatto (1575) by Federico Barocci

Madonna of the Cat or Madonna del gatto is an oil on canvas painting by Italian painter Federico Barocci, created c. 1575. It is held in the National Gallery of London.

History and description[edit]

The painting was made for Count Antonio Brancaleoni of Piobbico. Engravings of the painting appeared by 1577.

The Holy Family, consisting of Joseph, Mary, a young John the Baptist, and an infant Jesus at Mary's breast, are portrayed in a domestic moment. John appears to be teasing the cat with a captured goldfinch, an allegoric symbol of Christ's Passion. John's reed rests against a wall in the background. The main characters form a proto-Baroque-style diagonal to the right. In the style of Barocci, the cheeks are rosy.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Madonna of the Cat ('La Madonna del Gatto'), website of the National Gallery, London.