This graceful composition by Carlo Maratti repeats a detail found at the center of his celebrated Adoration of the Shepherds
fresco executed in 1656-1657 as part of a grand decorative cycle commissioned by Pope Alexander VII for the Palazzo Quirinale in Rome. The intimate arrangement of the Madonna and Child adored by three angels, one of whom tenderly kisses the hand of Christ, proved a successful source of inspiration for reduced replicas, with slight variations, that Maratti made for private devotion.
The present work will be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné on the works of Carlo Maratti being prepared by Prof. Stella Rudolph, who dates it to no later than the mid-1660s.1
1. Prof. Stella Rudolph's letter, dated 12 January 2018, is available upon request.