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The Holy Family, with the Infant St. John the Baptist and St. Catherine
Calvaert, Denys
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Calvaert, Denys

Antwerp, 1540 - Bologna, 1619

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The Holy Family, with the Infant St. John the Baptist and St. Catherine

Ca. 1584. Wash, Black chalk, Pencil, Pencil ground, Grey-brown ink on dark yellow laid paper Not on display

This is a preparatory study, with only some differences, for Calvaert´s painting of the Holy Family with St. Catherine and the Infant St. John the Baptist in the Gemäldegalerie, Oldenburg, dated 1584. The drawing is squared for transfer and most of its principal outlines are followed in the painting. One of the main differences between the two, however, is that in the left background Joseph is working some wood with a plane on his bench, rather than holding the donkey by a rope, as here. A smaller difference is that in the painting the Virgin wears a shoe on her right foot. In arranging his composition, Calvaert has made clear reference to the design of Raphael´s Holy Family of Francis I in the Louvre, where the Virgin likewise takes the Christ Child in both hands from his crib, watched by the kneeling figure of the Infant St. John the Baptist, but in reverse (Paris, 1983-84, no. 10). Although Calvaert decided not to develop this solution for his figures in the Oldenburg Holy Family with St. Catherine and the Infant St. John the Baptist, he saved the motif for another picture: in his Holy Family with the Infant St. John the Baptist in the Musee d´Art et d´Histoire, Geneva, the Virgin supports the Christ Child as he stands on his crib and raises his right hand to bless the Infant St. John the Baptist (Twiehaus, 2002, p. 148 and fig. 86). Interestingly, Calvaert´s use of pen and light brown wash over black chalk recalls Sabatini´s use of the medium and, furthermore, the figures too resemble Sabatini´s types. This is hardly surprising, since some two years after his arrival in Bologna Calvaert trained with Sabatini, and the two painters shortly thereafter later travelled to Rome, where they worked together in the Vatican (Text drawn from Turner, N.: From Michelangelo to Annibale Carracci. A century of Italian drawings from the Prado, Art Services International-Museo Nacional del Prado, 2008, p. 138).

Technical data

Inventory number
D002317
Author
Calvaert, Denys
Title
The Holy Family, with the Infant St. John the Baptist and St. Catherine
Date
Ca. 1584
Technique
Wash; Black chalk; Pencil; Pencil ground; Grey-brown ink
Support
Dark yellow laid paper
Dimension
Height: 220 mm.; Width: 156 mm.; Alto segundo soporte: 377 mm.; Ancho segundo soporte: 310 mm.
Provenance
Bequest of Pedro Fernández Durán y Bernaldo de Quirós, 1931

Bibliography +

Museo Nacional del Prado, Catálogo de dibujos, V, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2004, pp. 138, 223.

Turner, Nicholas, From Michelangelo to Annibale Carracci. A century of Italian drawings from the Prado, Art Services International, Chicago, 2008, pp. 138.

Other inventories +

Inv. Legado Pedro Fernández Durán, 1931. Núm. 1957.

Exhibitions +

De Miguel Ángel a Annibale Carracci. Un siglo de Dibujos Italianos en el Museo del Prado
25.10.2008 - 26.07.2009

Un siglo de dibujos italianos en el Museo del Prado. De Miguel Ángel a Annibale Carracci
Madrid
23.11.2004 - 13.02.2005

Update date: 02-05-2019 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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