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ID number:  BIRBI-91.3
Institution:  The Barber Institute of Fine Arts
Artist / Maker:  Castiglione, Giovanni Benedetto (1609-1664)
Title / Object name:  God the Father regarding the Infant Christ
Object type:  Print
Place made:  Rome
Culture:  Italian
Date made:  1645-7
Materials:  Etching
Measurements:  Plate: 260 x 200 mm; mount: 557 x 406 mm

Castiglione represents the Holy Family as natural human figures. A plump infant Christ sleeps peacefully, watched by the Virgin Mary and an unusually tangible and human God. Castiglione was greatly influenced by Rembrandt’s chiaroscuro etchings of the 1630s. He uses the contrast of light and dark and the swirling hatched lines to create depth and volume. The divine light shining on the family and the dark shadowy classical ruins, a symbol of fragility and decay, create a mysterious atmosphere that at once celebrates the infant Christ and predicts his future sacrifice.

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Castiglione, Giovanni Benedetto
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