Inventory number
Yáñez de la Almedina, Fernando
Saint Anne, the Virgin, Saint Elisabeth, Saint John and the Child Jesus
1525 - 1532
140 cm x 119 cm
On display
Church of San Andrés Apóstol in Villanueva de los Infantes ,Ciudad Real, 1941; acquired by the Prado Museum with funds from the legacy of the Count of Cartagena in 1941

The Virgin Mary reaches out to the Christ Child, who walks toward her. In the lower left corner, Saint John, adorned with a necklace of flowers, offers a flower to his cousin. A lily growing on the right symbolizes the purity of Mary. In the middle ground, Saints Ann and Elizabeth watch. Visible in the background are The Embrace at the Golden Gate, an apocryphal event in Mary's life taken from Jacopo da Voragine's Golden Legend. Along with the lily, this also alludes to the Virgin's Immaculate Conception.

The composition of this work makes various formal references to other artists who were contemporaries of Yáñez. The background scene, for example, comes from an engraving by Albrecht Dürer, and the figure of the Virgin comes from Raphael. The technique is characteristic of Yáñez's final period, with darker lighting and a tendency toward less geometric forms.

This work was purchased from the parish church of Villanueva de los Infantes with funds from the legacy of the Count of Cartagena in 1941. It has been suggested that it may be part of the lost Almedina Altarpiece on which Yáñez worked for several years beginning in 1518.

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