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The Holy Family
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The Holy Family

Description Conservation Provenance Credit
Description The Virgin kneels in prayer before the Infant Christ, who wriggles before her on a bed of straw and reaches his fingers toward his mouth--gestures typical of a baby. Saint Joseph approaches from the middle ground. Farther in the distance is a tranquil landscape with a walled city rising from a lake. The painting is a type of object known as a "tondo," or circular painting, a common type of domestic decoration in Renaissance Florence. Tondos were usually commissioned as votive images, that is to give thanks to the God for something, such as the birth of the child. For this reason they often depict scenes of the Madonna and Child or, as in this example, the Nativity. The painting copies a work by the Florentine painter Lorenzo di Credi now at the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin. The paintings' measurements are practically identical, suggesting that both were produced in Credi’s workshop with same “cartoon,” or scaled preparatory drawing. The modest quality of the Walters tondo indicates that it was produced by one of Credi’s many workshop assistants rather than the master himself.
Date Description Narrative
9/19/1938Treatmentcoated; inpainted; repaired; surface cleaned
4/01/1969Treatmentcleaned; coated; filled; inpainted; loss compensation
Provenance Don Marcello Massarenti Collection, Rome [date and mode of acquisition unknown] [1881 catalogue: no. 40; 1897 catalogue: no. 98, as Lorenzo di Credi]; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1902, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters with the Massarenti Collection, 1902

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ca. 1490 (Renaissance)
oil on wood panel
(Painting & Drawing)
Accession Number
Painted surface H: 28 5/8 x W: 28 1/8 x Approx. D: 9/16 in. (72.7 x 71.5 x 1.5 cm)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


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