Bologna, 1575 – Rome, 1625
Holy Family and the Young Saint John
oil on copper, cm 37,5×29
This remarkable painting on copper depicts one of the most tender subjects propagated by the Christian faith: the Holy Family with Saint Joseph, the young bride Mary, Baby Jesus and the young Saint John.
The work reveals a very fine painting style that recalls the elegant classicism of Annibale Carracci’s Roman paintings and the figurative vocabulary of his workshop.
It should in fact be linked to the so-called Montalto Madonna, a copper painting now in the National Gallery in London (inv. no. 6597) and also depicting the “Holy Family with the young Saint John”, executed by the youngest of the Carracci brothers towards the end of the 16th century.
Careful analysis of the painting allows us to associate our Holy Family with the work of Innocenzo Tacconi, pupil and nephew of Annibale Carracci. Tacconi collaborated with the master on several occasions, using, as in this case, one of his preparatory drawings to give the depiction an aura of classicism accentuated by the compact material and warm tones.
A painter who produced enjoyable pieces due to his personal focus on natural concreteness, Tacconi carried out his independent activity in Rome and Lazio even after the death of the Carracci. The full and realistic style of this Holy Family with the Young Saint John matches that of Innocenzo’s mature works, such as the Crucifixion fresco in San Sebastiano in Rome.