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Raphael was especially esteemed for his Madonna and Child compositions

After Giovanni Francesco Penni (1496-c. 1536)

Holy Family with the Infant Baptist c.1853-76

Albumen print | 19.0 x 24.4 cm (sheet of paper) | RCIN 851309

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A photograph of a drawing generally attributed to Giovanni Francesco Penni (c.1514-15) now in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (inv. no.WA1940.68). In his Raphael Collection catalogue (1876), Ruland listed the drawing as being then in the collection of Frederick Locker (see Lugt 1692).

The drawing is thought to be a study for a tondo ascribed to G.F. Penni, currently housed in the Museo della Badia di Cava dei Tirreni, Salerno. Copies after this drawing are in the Albertina, Vienna (inv. no.273; see RCIN 851310) and in the Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe degli Uffizi, Florence (inv. no.10899F). A rectangular version of this composition, generally attributed to the school of Raphael (Perino del Vaga?), is in the Galleria Borghese, Rome (inv. no.464).

A drawing representing the principal group but with variation in the pose of St Joseph and the addition of numerous figures on either side was listed by Ruland (1876) as in the possession of the late Major Kühlen, Rome, possibly the one appeared on the market in 1991 (Lempertz, Köln; 12 December 1991, lot 483). See RCIN 851308.

The photograph shows the Christ Child lying on the ground, being adored by the Virgin and the Infant Baptist, with St Joseph seating at left.
  • Creator(s)

    After Giovanni Francesco Penni (1496-c. 1536) (artist)

    Saint Joseph
    Blessed Virgin Mary
  • 19.0 x 24.4 cm (sheet of paper)

  • Acquired for the Prince Consort's Raphael Collection (c.1853-76)

  • Object type(s)
      • visual works
        • photographs
    • Religion & Theology
      • Religions and faiths
        • Christianity
          • Devotional Images of Christ
            • Virgin & Child
              • Virgin & Child with Saints
                • Virgin & Child with Saints-Holy Family
          • Life of Christ
            • Infancy of Christ
              • Christ Child
  • Other number(s)

    Ruland p.99 D.III.2

    Bibliographic reference(s)

    Joannides 1983 : Joannides, P., 1983. The Drawings of Raphael, with a complete catalogue, Oxford p.214, no.324