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Holy Family with Saint Elizabeth and Saint John, after Giovanni Andrea Sirani

1655-1665
17th century
26.5 cm x 22 cm (10 7/16 in. x 8 11/16 in.)

Elisabetta Sirani (Bologna, 1638 - 1665, Bologna) Primary

Object Type: print
Artist Nationality: Europe, Italian
Medium and Support: Etching
Credit Line: Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, The Leo Steinberg Collection, 2002
Accession Number: 2002.237

This Holy Family, based upon a painting by the artist's father, is her most striking etching. Not only are its incidents unusual –– the Madonna in profile, Elizabeth winding swaddling cloth, Joseph hacking a plank –– but the angularity and interlocking of the composition are pronounced, as if the products of such activities. The vertical striation of polishing scratches, prominent in this very early impression, both mitigates any severity and, like a wood grain, suggests another reflexive component

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