Jun 24, 2009
Jun 24, 2009
Jun 24, 2009

Return to Nazareth

Return to Nazareth


Francesco Conti

(Italian, 1681–1760)

Oil on canvas

Framed: 136.5 x 102.5 x 6 cm (53 3/4 x 40 3/8 x 2 3/8 in.); Unframed: 118.2 x 84.2 cm (46 9/16 x 33 1/8 in.)

Mr. and Mrs. William H. Marlatt Fund 1974.2



Upon hearing rumor of a young king born to a virgin in Bethlehem, Herod, the ruler of Judea, jealously developed a plot to find and murder the infant Jesus. Fearing Herod's wrath, the Holy Family escaped to Egypt and eventually returned to Palestine-an echo of the great Exodus of the Old Testament. Conti trained in Rome but eventually made his career in Florence. Even given the pale colors, balletic poses, and attenuated forms, the sharp contrasts of dark and light, with figures emerging from deep shadow, attests to the long shadow of Caravaggio even in Florence a century later.

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