DOSSI, Dosso
(b. ca. 1490, Ferrara, d. 1542, Ferrara)

The Holy Family

Oil on canvas, 236 x 171 cm
Pinacoteca Capitolina, Rome

In addition to his responsibilities as painter to the Ferrarese court, Dosso undertook a number of commissions for altarpieces for the churches of Ferrara and Modena and their surrounding territories. To judge from its large scale and vertical format, this painting was painted as an altarpiece. The unusual prominence of Joseph - almost equal to that of the Virgin - suggests that the respective altar bore a dedication to him. The painting shows the influence of both Raphael and Giulio Romano.