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.