Catalogue No. 50
The Madonna and Child with the Infant St. John, St. Francis, Tobias and the Archangel Raphael

Artist: Sodoma (Giovanni Antonio Bazzi, Called)
The Madonna and Child with the Infant St. John, St. Francis, Tobias and the Archangel Raphael

1477-1549
Oil on Panel 27½ x 19¾ ins

Collection Details
Mrs Ross, Florence, from whom bought by Agnew, 1895, and sold to Alexander Henderson, later 1st Lord Faringdon.

Literature
A Segard, Sodoma, 1910, p.229: R H Cust, Giovanni Antonio Bazzi, 1906, pp.163–6, 358; B Berenson, Italian Pictures (Central and North Italian), 1968, i, p.405.

Background
The presence of Tobias in a Sacra Conversazione is unusual, but as a prefiguration of Christ (by curing his father of blindness with the fish, he brought light to his father as Christ brought light to those living in darkness) he is a not inappropriate figure in this context.  Cust mentions the possibility of the present picture being the Virgin and Child with St Francis referred to in a letter, dated 3 May 1518, from the artist to Francesco Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua.