Whilst the artists favourite subjects were genre scenes and portraits, he painted many religious works for, among others, the church of Santa Maria dell'Aiuto in Naples, San Paolo Fuori le Mura in Rome, and Parma Cathedral. But by this late date, much of Traversi's output was concerned with satirical genre scenes. This intimate depiction of father and baby forms part of a small and rare group of religious works from this period, along with his Penitent Saint Jerome and Magdalene, both in private Neapolitan collections.1
A second autograph version of this composition, dated by Professor Nicola Spinosa to circa 1760, is in the collection of the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto.2 We are grateful to Professor Spinosa for endorsing the attribution of the present painting to Traversi upon inspection of digital images.
1 N. Spinosa, Gaspare Traversi, Napoletani del '700 tra miseria e nobilità, exh. cat., Naples 2003, p. 248, reproduced figs R140 and R141.
2 Spinosa 2003, p. 258, cat. no. R134, reproduced p. 247.
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