Guido Reni's St Joseph with the Infant Jesus, painted around 1635, is a characteristic work from one of the leading artists of the Italian Baroque. Once highly celebrated as a great master, Reni's work has since divided opinion due to his reaction against the formal idiosyncrasies of Caravaggio and for his pious Catholic-infused flourishes. Essentially a classical painter, Guido Reni's style is one of startling refinement and measure, striving to achieve the elegance and balance of Raphael's works. This late painting is an imagined reproduction of the figure of Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus and the husband of Mary, showering paternal warmth onto the infant Christ.
Appearing like an apparition of the High Italian Renaissance, Reni's style was without doubt retrospective. But his sweeping, confident brushwork, energetic palette, and Classical composition was not only a tired reenacting of the great masters; Reni was reacting against a contemporary influence he felt was out of place with the progression of art. A contemporary of the great Caravaggio, Reni was learning his craft in Rome when Caravaggio was perfecting his chiaroscuro style of naturalism. Although briefly admiring the energy and drama of his works, Reni soon revolted against the naturalism in fashion throughout the early seventeenth century in favour of Classical, staged, and strictly posed postures.
Vastly polarising opinion with audiences of the nineteenth century, works such as St Joseph with the Infant Jesus had as many admirers as detractors. The sheer breadth and power of Reni's design articulates a paternal love that is unusual in depictions of the surrogate father, Joseph. Stubbornly championing the ways of the past as opposed to the upstarts of the present, Reni's figurative reproduction is a work of academic perfection and thematic ingenuity, demonstrating the balance and technical prowess of this often-ignored artist.
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Important Notes About Your Painting:
If you have any request to alter your reproduction of St Joseph with the Infant Jesus c. 1635, you must email us after placing your order and we'll have an artist contact you. If you have another image of St Joseph with the Infant Jesus c. 1635 that you would like the artist to work from, please include it as an attachment. Otherwise, we will reproduce the above image for you exactly as it is.
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