The Holy Family

Object Details

Title:

The Holy Family

Artist/Maker:

Giulio Romano (Giulio Pippi) (Italian, before 1499 - 1546)

Culture:

Italian

Place:

Italy (Place created)

Date:

about 1520 - 1523

Medium:

Oil (possibly mixed with tempera) on panel

Dimensions:

77.5 x 61.9 cm (30 1/2 x 24 3/8 in.)

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Giulio Romano set Christ and John the Baptist's first meeting on the day of the traditional Jewish purification ceremony, forty days after John the Baptist's birthday. The meaning of this enigmatic painting is unclear, and it has been known by several titles. At right a woman carries a basket with two turtledoves, the required offering of the poor. After the purification ceremony, at which the priest recognized Christ's destiny, Mary, Joseph, and Jesus visited her cousin Elizabeth and John the Baptist, Elizabeth's son. Precociously, Jesus opens a book, showing that his birth signaled the debut of a new era. The scroll, one of the Baptist's attributes, reads Ecce Agnus Dei(Behold the lamb of God).

As Raphael's most important protégé, Giulio adapted Raphael's late style in the darkly evocative landscape and these tightly interlocked figures and idealized female faces. Features typical of Giulio's work include the metallic palette, muscular figures with heavy features, and lively details such as the dog dashing out the doorway at left and the all'antica landscape at right.

Provenance
-

Vincenzo Spinola (Genoa, Italy), sold to Andrew Wilson.

1803

Andrew Wilson, sold to William Waldegrave.

- 1825

William Waldegrave, first baron Radstock, 1753 - 1825 (London, England), upon his death, held in trust by the estate.

1825 - 1826

Estate of William Waldegrave, first baron Radstock, 1753 - 1825 [sold, Radstock sale, Christie's, London, May 13, 1826, lot 47, to George Byng M.P., for £ 934.10.]

1826 - 1847

George Byng M.P., 1764 - 1847 (Wrotham Park, England), by inheritance to his heirs, 1847.

1847 - 1994

Heirs of George Byng M.P., 1764 - 1847 (Wrotham Park, England) [sold, Christie's, London, December 9, 1994, lot 37, to Simon Dickinson Inc. (New York).]

1994 - 1995

Simon Dickinson, Inc. (New York), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1995.

Exhibitions
British Institution 1828 (1828) (Cat. 53)
  • British Institution for Promoting the Fine Arts in the United Kingdom (London), 1828
British Institution 1836 (1836) (Cat. 6)
  • British Institution for Promoting the Fine Arts in the United Kingdom (London), 1836
Roma e lo stile classico di Raffaello 1515-1527 (March 21 to September 5, 1999) (Cat. 181)
  • Centro Internazionale d'Arte e di Cultura di Palazzo Te (Mantua), March 21 to May 30, 1999
  • Albertina (Vienna), June 23 to September 5, 1999
The Art of Papal Rome (May 29 to September 6, 2009) (Cat. 20)
  • National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa), May 29 to September 6, 2009
Late Raphael (June 12, 2012 to January 14, 2013) (67)
  • Museo del Prado (Madrid), June 12 to September 16, 2012
  • Musée du Louvre (Paris), October 8, 2012 to January 14, 2013
Bibliography

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Christie's, London. Catalogue of the Very Noble Collection of Italian, French, Flemish, and Dutch Pictures, of the Right Honourable Admiral Lord Radstock, Deceased. May 12-13, 1826 p. 22, lot 47 (May 13).

British Institution for Promoting the Fine Arts in the United Kingdom. Catalogue of Pictures by Italian, Spanish, Flemish, and Dutch Masters, with Which the Proprietors Have Favoured the Instiution, exh. cat. (London: British Institution, 1828) p. 14, no. 53.

British Institution for Promoting the Fine Arts in the United Kingdom. Catalogue of Pictures by Italian, Spanish, Flemish, Dutch, and French Masters, with Which the Proprietors Have Favoured the Instiution, exh. cat. (London: British Institution 1836) p. 7, no. 6.

Waagen, Gustav Friedrich. Galleries and Cabinets of Art in Great Britain: Being an Account of More than Forty Collections of Paintings, Drawings, Sculptures, Mss. Visited in 1854 and 1856, and Now for the First Time Described (London: John Murray, 1857) p. 319.

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Joannides, Paul, and Francis Russell. "Letters: Giulio Romano and Penni." The Burlington Magazine 124, no. 955 (October 1982) p. 634.

Russell, Francis. "The Spinola 'Holy Family' of Giulio Romano." The Burlington Magazine 124, no. 950 (May 1982) pp. 296-98, fig. 37.

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Cannatà, Roberto, and Adriano Ghisetti Giavarina. Cola dell'Amatrice (Florence: Cantini Editore, 1991) p. 108, under no. 25.

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Christie's Review of the Season (1995) p. 10, ill.

"Acquisitions/1995." The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 24 (1996) p. 111, no. 41, ill.

Ganz, Kate. A Catalogue of Drawings, Small Paintings & Oil Sketches, exh. cat., Anne Hargrave, ed. (New York: Jason McCoy Inc. and Kate Ganz Ltd., 1996) p. 8, under no. 1.

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Fredericksen, Burton B. et al. Masterpieces of the J. Paul Getty Museum: Paintings (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997) p. 24, no. 9, ill., entry by David Jaffé.

Oberhuber, Konrad. Raffaello: l'opera pittorica. Maria Magrini and Marina Rotondo, trans. (Milano: Electa, 1999) p. 239, fig. 218.

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Clayton, Martin. Raphael and His Circle: Drawings from Windsor Castle, exh. cat. (London: The Queen's Gallery, with Merrell Holberton Publishers, 1999) p. 171, under no. 48, fig. 76.

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González Mozo, Ana. "Raphael's Painting Technique in Rome." In Late Raphael, exh. cat. Tom Henry and Paul Joannides, eds. (Madrid: Museo Nacional del Prado, 2012) p. 348n35.

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