Holy Family with Saint John the Baptist Adored by an Unidentified Figure

Object Details

Title:

Holy Family with Saint John the Baptist Adored by an Unidentified Figure

Artist/Maker(s):

Bartolomeo Cesi (Italian, 1556 - 1629)

Culture:

Italian

Place(s):

Italy (Place created)

Date:

about 1590s

Medium:

Black chalk

Dimensions:

28.9 x 25.7 cm (11 3/8 x 10 1/8 in.)

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The Virgin, the infants, and an unidentified figure form a pyramid, flanked by Joseph and set against the simple, vertical columns. In his mature style, Bartolomeo Cesi characteristically combined such naturalistic figures with a sober mood and an abstract, geometrical composition. Cesi derived the naturalism of the figures, particularly the infants, from his practice of drawing from life, which the Carracci Academy introduced in Bologna.

Reflecting the ideas of the Counter-Reformation, which zealously advocated against "immorality" in art, Cesi exhibited a rather severe style. He never made his surfaces gleam or embellished them in any way. The Carthusians, Roman Catholicism's most ascetic order, may have influenced Cesi's approach.

Exhibitions
Two Centuries of Drawings from Bologna (December 15, 1998 to February 28, 1999)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), December 15, 1998 to February 28, 1999
A North Italian Itinerary: Renaissance Drawings from Leonardo to Titian (December 6, 2005 to February 26, 2006)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), December 6, 2005 to February 26, 2006