Holy Family with Saints Anne, Catherine of Alexandria, and Mary Magdalen
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Italian, 1560s
Oil on panel
39 7/16 x 30 9/16 in.

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Huddled closely together, the Virgin suckles the infant Christ while Mary Magdalene and Saint Catherine of Alexandria look on in adoration. Behind, Joseph stands conversing with Saint Anne, Mary's mother. The sitting women seem large and compressed into a small space, and bright, vibrant hues of yellow, green, and red describe the clothing. The tight space, vivid colors, and twisted, artificial postures of the figures reflect the most advanced Mannerist style from Rome. Arranged in a loose pyramidal shape, the faces of the three young women are classically idealized. Mary Magdalene and Saint Catherine wear jewelry and expensively brocaded fabrics, in contrast to the simple garments of Mary, Joseph, and Anne.