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Title The Holy Family
Collection Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
Artist Gennari, Benedetto, II (Italian painter, 1633-1715)
Date 1682 (dated)
Signed yes
Description Gennari was Guercino's nephew. He came to London in 1674 to work at the Restoration Court. The artist's records state that this work was commissioned by the wife of James Duke of York (later King James II) for the private chapel in St James's Palace, London. The picture shows Joseph lifting Jesus to fed at Mary's breast. Gennari and his royal patrons were devout Catholics. In Catholic images, the theme of the Virgin suckling the infant Christ began to disappear after the Council of Trent (1545-63) forbade nudity in the portrayal of sacred figures.
Current Accession Number 1974P12
Former Accession Number P.12´74
Inscription front lr 'GENNARI 1682'
Subject religion (Holy Family)
Measurements 213.8 x 168 cm.0 cm (estimate)
Material oil on canvas
Acquisition Details Purchased with the aid of the V & A Purchase Grant Fund 1974.
Provenance Mary of Modena, Duchess of York; by descent to Earl Poulett, Hinton Street (bought by member of his family in Rome, 1767); Hewling sale, Christie's, London, 28 April 1809, as The Holy Family by Gennari, lot 37, bought in [;]; Hewling sale, Christie's, London, 17 November 1809, lot 72 [;]; Sotheby's sale, London, 11 June 1969, lot 1; Leger, London, 1970.
Principal Exhibitions Pittura Inglese 1660-1840, Palazzo Reale, Milan, 1975, cat. no. 14.
Publications Daniels, J., 'Royal Baroque to Belle Epoque', Apollo vol. 91, May 1970, p.390; Levey, M., Pictures in the Royal Collection: The Later Italian Pictures, London, 1964, pp. 21-22; Miller, D. G., 'Benedetto Gennari', Apollo vol. 99, 1983, pp.24-29; Bagni, P., Benedetto Gennari, e la Bottega del Geurcino, 1986, p.97, ill.; Baldwin, D., The Chapel Royal; Ancient and Modern, London, 1990; Foreign Paintings in Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Gerald Duckworth and Co., London, 1990, pp. 139-140, ill.; A Summary Catalogue, 1983, no. 72, ill; Barclay, A., 'Mary Beatrice of Modena: the §Second bless'd of woman-kind§', Queenship in Britain 1660 - 1837. Royal patronage, court cultureand dynastic politics, ed. Campbell, C., 2002, p. 86, ill.; Foreign Paintings in Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, A Summary Catalogue, no. 72, ill.
Rights Owner Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
Author Dr Patricia Smyth



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