- Reference number
- Ribera, José de (Spanish)
- Saint Joseph and the Christ Child
- Ca. 1632
- 126 cm x 100 cm
- On display
- Colección Real (Palacio Real Nuevo, Madrid, primera sala de la Furriera, 1747, nº 136; Palacio Real Nuevo, Madrid, antecámara de las señoras infantas-pieza encarnada a la derecha, 1794, nº 136; Palacio Real, Madrid, cuarto del infante-segunda pieza, 1814-1818, nº 136).
Saint Joseph holds a flowered staff. He is accompanied by the Christ Child, who offers him a basket with carpentry tools, alluding to the saint's profession.
The worship of Saint Joseph was especially favored by the Council of Trent and devotion to him became especially widespread in Spain, where numerous paintings were also made.
The technique used in this painting, with outstanding chiaroscuros that illuminate only the most important details of the composition, denotes the influence of the Italian painter, Caravaggio.
This work was rescued from the fire at Madrid's Alcázar Palace in 1734 and appeared in the 1747, 1772 and 1794 inventories of the new Royal Palace built in its place.