This painting on copper dates from the artist’s maturity. With exquisite detail, and particular attention given to the depiction of the various textiles worn by the figures, Josefa depicts the Holy Family with Saint Elizabeth and the Infant Saint John the Baptist. These figures, all grouped together at right, are set against a wonderfully theatrical vision of angels and cherubim descending from heaven. Copper was Josefa’s preferred support in the first decades of her career, between 1647 and 1661, after which she painted mainly on canvas and on a larger format. The present work and another painting on copper, sold in these Rooms last year, are exceptional in this regard, demonstrating her mature technique, but on a smaller scale and with a miniaturist sense of detail.1
1. The Penitent Magdalene Comforted by Angels, signed and dated 167(9), oil on copper, 34 by 42.2 cm., New York, Sotheby's, 29 January 2015, lot 44.
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