(b. 1585, Parma, d. ca. 1619, Parma)

The Holy Family

c. 1610
Oil on panel, 81.3 x 57 cm
Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford

Badalocchio, who was born in Parma, probably trained in the Carracci academy in Bologna, and then worked with Agostino Carracci in the service of Ranuccio Farnese in Parma. On Agostino's death he went, with Giovanni Lanfranco, to Rome to work as an assistant of Annibale on the walls of the Galleria Farnese. On Annibale's death in 1609, Badalocchio returned to his native city. His artistic personality was relatively obscure until the 1950s, in part because of his dependence on Annibale's example.

The influences of both Parma and Rome are evident in this picture. The Virgin rests against a wall, apparently pausing during the flight into Egypt, cradling the infant Christ, while St Joseph keeps watch. A notable feature is the exquisite still-life of a basket of fruit.

The picture was first recorded in the Farnese collection, where, in 1653, it was attributed to Lanfranco. Subsequently, it was attributed to Ludovico Carracci, and it was only in 1958 that the correct attribution to Badalocchio was proposed. The monumentality of form and the intimate use of expression owe much to Annibale's teaching, as does the classical landscape which frames the composition. In these respects the picture can be compared with Albani's contemporary Rest on the Flight. However, the handling of colour and light suggest that Badalocchio was also influenced by the art of Parma, especially that of Correggio and Bartolomeo Schedoni (then court painter to Ranuccio Farnese), suggesting that it was executed shortly after his departure from Rome. A copy of this painting, extended at the left to include two angels, once hung alongside it in the Farnese collection in Rome, and is now in the Museo di Capodimonte in Naples.