BEINASCHI, Giovan Battista
(b. 1636, Fossano, nr Turin, d. 1688, Napoli)
Holy Family with Sts Anne and Joachim1670s
Oil on canvas, 128 x 169 cm
The present painting belongs to the painter's Neapolitan years. It can be dated to the 1670s, when Beinaschi was still mindful of Lanfranco's art and before his palette lightened under the influence of Luca Giordano. The composition shows the four Biblical characters in a close-up format. The choice of a nocturnal setting serves the painter's expressive purposes - the Christ Child sleeps in the arms of the Virgin, who is speaking with her parents Saints Anne and Joachim - and lends a special prominence to the dove, the symbol of the Holy Spirit, which also turns towards the sleeping Child.