Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, Holy Family with Saint Joseph Reading
Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (1696-1770), Holy Family with Saint Joseph Reading, The Courtauld, London (Samuel Courtauld Trust) © The Courtauld

Holy Family with Saint Joseph Reading

Giovanni Battista Tiepolo

During the late 1750s Tiepolo produced nearly seventy drawings of the Holy Family, in ink and wash like the present work. This freshly preserved example shows a particularly engaging composition, both monumental and tender. Mary cares for the Christ Child while Joseph reads a book. Washes of varying intensity model the figures, creating transparent shadows and deep pockets of shade on the luminous paper. Tiepolo’s virtuosity excels here in the rendering of the figures whose light presence makes them almost float on the page. 

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Two men sit across from each other at a table covered with a brown tablecloth, playing cards. Both men wear overcoats and hats, and the man on the left smokes a pipe. They sit inside a wooden building. i Paul Cézanne (1839-1906) The Card Players, around 1892-96, The Courtauld, London (Samuel Courtauld Trust)

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