JUAN BAUTISTA MAÍNO

Pastrana, 1581 – Madrid, 1649

Holy Family with the Infant Saint John the Baptist

Oil on canvas

106 x 93 cm

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JUAN BAUTISTA MAÍNO

Pastrana, 1581 – Madrid, 1649

It is certain that this was a composition in some demand on account of the modernising piety which brought it close to the spirit of the Counter-Reform. This would have contributed to its attraction to painters in Rome, both as a source of income and as an exercise in apprenticeship in the interpretation of regious subject-matter in a naturalist key.

Elements such as the treatment of skin tones, as in the leathery hand of Saint Joseph and its contrast to the light skin of the Infant and Virgin, can be related to Maíno’s later works. Also characteristic of Maino is the human form of the Virgin, with the oval of the face widening at the chin; the rotundity of the Infant as in the groups of angels in his murals at San Pedro Mártir; and the physiognomic archetype of Moses and Aaron which is not very different to that of Saint Joseph. Without being literal quotations, these are common elements in the vocabulary of naturalism close to Caravaggio, and they are one of the fundamental ingredients in the pictorial formula of Juan Bautista Maíno.

Angel Aterido

Technical data

JUAN BAUTISTA MAÍNO

Pastrana, 1581 – Madrid, 1649

Holy Family with the Infant Saint John the Baptist

Oil on canvas

106 x 93 cm