A recently rediscovered painting by 16th-century Italian master Agnolo Bronzino went on view to the public today for the first time since it was created nearly 500 years ago. Newly added to the collection of the Getty Museum, *Virgin and Child with Saint Elizabeth and Saint John the Baptist* is an arrestingly beautiful picture and one of Bronzino’s most significant religious works.\n\nThe painting joins the Getty collections alongside *The Annunciation* by Late Gothic sculptor Giovanni di Balduccio. This extremely rare pair of marble sculptures, made around 1333–34, will go on view at the Getty Center later this year.\n\nIn the Bronzino painting, the figure of the Virgin Mary, with garments of richly saturated color, dominates the composition. Cheeks almost touching, her eyes meet those of the Christ Child, who holds a reed cross and toys with the garland of flowers on his head. Below, the child Baptist proffers a bunch of wild strawberries, a portent of the bloodshed at Christ’s death on the cross. He is observed watchfully by his own mother, the elderly St. Elizabeth.\n\nThe figures, with crisp outlines and smooth, luminous skin, have the appearance of carved marble. With its high level of finish, gleaming surface, and lavish use of expensive pigments, paintings such as this one would have appealed to the refined tastes of patrons at the Medici court in Florence, where Bronzino worked. \n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n### A Case of Mistaken Identity\n\n\n\r\nThe painting by Bronzino had a long life in private collections but was never exhibited publicly. For a time, it was also misattributed. It first appeared in modern records in a sale in Milan in 1898, where it was attributed to [Andrea del Sarto](https://www.getty.edu/art/collection/artists/468/andrea-del-sarto-italian-1486-1530/), the teacher of Bronzino’s teacher Pontormo. In 1964 the painting reappeared at a sale in London, where it was, at last, noted that Bronzino had signed it on a stone in the lower-left corner of the composition. Since then the painting has been in private collections; it was first published by the Italian scholar Carlo Falciani only in 2016.\r\n\r\nA second version of the present work was bequeathed in 1941 by Sir Lionel Faudel-Phillips [to the National Gallery, London](https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/bronzino-the-madonna-and-child-with-saints). Its provenance cannot be traced before its appearance in 1916.\r\n\r\nBronzino is known to have created multiple versions of the same composition on several other occasions. He maintained that changing luminosity to mimic different times of the day allowed the viewer to appreciate different tones and colors, while requiring few changes or adjustments to the composition itself. The painting in London and the work now at the Getty are set at night and at dawn, respectively. The moonlight of the picture in London enhances the concision of the forms, while the diffused light of the dawn intensifies the bright, contrasting colors in the Getty painting.\r ### Bronzino as Artist\n\n\n\nThe painting represents Bronzino at the height of his career. Characteristic of his style are the gleaming sculptural forms, the enamel-like surface, and the lavish use of expensive pigments.\n\nBorn Agnolo di Cosimo di Mariano Tori, Bronzino was one of the most accomplished Italian painters working in Florence in the 16th century. His religious subjects and mythological scenes epitomize the grace and sophistication of the High Renaissance style, which was influenced by Michelangelo and the rediscovery of ancient Greek and Roman sculpture. Bronzino was the most successful pupil of Pontormo, whose [Portrait of a Halbardier](https://www.getty.edu/art/collection/objects/824/pontormo-jacopo-carucci-portrait-of-a-halberdier-francesco-guardi-italian-florentine-1529-1530/) is also a visitor favorite in the Getty collection. He became court artist to Cosimo I de’ Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, and his refined style had an enormous impact on Florentine painting of the time.\n\nThe painting is in excellent condition and is on view to all in Gallery N204 in the Getty Center’s North Pavilion, alongside paintings by his contemporaries Frà Bartolomeo, Giulio Romano, Correggio, Parmigianino, Sebastiano del Piombo, Pontormo, and Salviati.