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The Holy Family with St Anne and the Infant John the Baptist

  • Holy Family with Saint Anne and the Infant John the Baptist. Santa Cruz Museum. Toledo © Ministerio de Cultura

    Holy Family with Saint Anne and the Infant John the Baptist. Santa Cruz Museum. Toledo © Ministerio de Cultura

     
  

Category

Painting

Date

1580-1583

Artist

El Greco

Cultural background

Mannerism

Original title

La Sagrada Familia con Santa Ana y San Juanito
Santa Cruz Museum
Toledo
Toledo, Castile-La Mancha
Toledo

It is considered to be one of the first versions of this iconography painted by El Greco.

The Virgin Mary and St Anne are regarding Baby Jesus with a grave look, which anticipates his eventual passion and death. The infant John the Baptist, depicted almost naked, looks like Harpocrates, the god of silence, because he is holding a glass bowl of peaces and putting a finger to his lips asking for silence because of the premonition of Christ's death.

Joseph appears in the background, looking at the spectators. His portrait is typical of a person of the time and has been identified by some specialists as a hypothetical donor. His figure was hidden, but discovered after the restoration carried out in 1982.
 

Details of the work

Origin
Parish Church of Santa Leocadia in Toledo

Object
Painting

Dimensions
Height = 1.82 m; Width = 1.12 m

Technique
Oil on canvas technique

Material
Canvas, Pigment, Wood, Agglutinating Agent, Varnish

  

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