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The Holy Family

  • Holy Family. Santa Cruz Museum. Toledo © Ministerio de Cultura

    Holy Family. Santa Cruz Museum. Toledo © Ministerio de Cultura






Cultural background


Original title

La Sagrada Familia
Santa Cruz Museum
Toledo, Castile-La Mancha

A first-rate work from the Santa Cruz Museum collections in which Ribera displays his use of the tenebrist atmosphere, taken from Caravaggio's art.

It depicts the Holy Family and the Infant St John, inside the Nazareth workshop. The illumination establishes a contrast of lights and shadows, creating two very clear backgrounds - a bright one where the figures of the Virgin and Child stand out; and a dark one, in which the infant St John and Joseph stand out with strong chiaroscuro.

There are several different versions of the Holy Family - most of them considered the production of Ribera's workshop or a school.

The Spanish viceroys were Ribera's patrons in Naples and this canvas probably reached Spain thanks to Don Ramiro de Guzmán, viceroy of Naples, the year it was made.

Details of the work


Altura = 1,82 m; Anchura = 1,12 m

Oil on canvas

Lienzo, pigmento, madera, aglutinante y barniz


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