Description This figure of Saint Joseph was once brightly colored. It was probably part of a Nativity group that included the baby Jesus being worshiped by the Virgin Mary. Painted terracotta was popular in 15th-century Tuscany, where it was typically used for multi-figure religious compositions, arranged as if on a stage. Joseph's meditative pose isolates him from the Virgin and Child and places emphasis on the fact that Joseph, the patron saint of fathers, was not Christ's biological father.
- Metropolitan Museum, New York, 1915. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. 1915-1929.
- Artful Deception: The Craft of the Forger. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore; Edsel & Eleanor Ford House, Grosse Pointe Shores; Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas; Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Oklahoma City; Portland Museum of Art, Portland; The Fine Arts Center at Cheekwood, Nashville; Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix; Columbia Museum of Art, Columbia; Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento; Elvehjem Museum of Art, Madison; Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester, Rochester; The Barnum Museum, Bridgeport. 1987-1992.
Provenance Thomas Fortune Ryan, New York [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Joseph Brummer [date and mode of acquisition unknown; Brummer Sale, New York, III, 1949, no. 454; Walters Art Museum, June 9, 1949, by purchase.
Credit Museum purchase, 1949
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