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The Holy Family with Saint Anne by a Fireplace

circa 1582-1600
16th century
22.6 cm x 29.8 cm (8 7/8 in. x 11 3/4 in.)

Attributed to Orazio Cambiaso (active Genoa, Italy, 1582 – 1600) Primary

Object Type: painting
Artist Nationality: Europe, Italian
Medium and Support: Oil on panel
Credit Line: Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, The Suida-Manning Collection, 2017
Accession Number: 2017.947

This is an apocryphal scene from the infancy of Christ. Such charming, anecdotal variations were inspired by the popularity of Netherlandish genre paintings and conditioned by the Counter- Reformation’s imperative that religious imagery engage the viewer. In his late devotional paintings, Luca Cambiaso often used nocturnal settings to increase the sense of intimacy and mystery, and his late drawings include many versions of this subject. The combination of these elements in the present painting has led some to attribute the work to Cambiaso himself. Yet, the uncertain relation between the figures and the heavy touch indicate that it is instead the work of a close follower, possibly his son, Orazio

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