64. Attributed to Ventura Salimbeni

Siena 1568 – 1613 Siena

The Birth of the Virgin

In line with an iconographic tradition that prevailed in Italy since the fifteenth century, this representation of the birth of the Virgin focuses on the child being bathed while her mother, St Anne, lies in bed in the background. The composition is sketched in black chalk, swiftly outlining the architectural space and some silhouettes. The group in the foreground was then reworked in brown ink by the artist. The sheet has no direct correspondence to any known painting by Salimbeni, but can be compared to his studies for lunettes and altarpieces illustrating the same subject. The lower half of these sheets contain the same type of female figures, in a variety of positions, offering the artist a wide selection of narrative solutions.