(b. 1431, Isola di Carturo, d. 1506, Mantova)

The Holy Family and the Family of St John the Baptist

Casein on canvas, 40 x 169 cm
Cappella di Giovanni Battista, Sant'Andrea, Mantua

This painting hangs to this day in Mantegna's funerary chapel. Since the chapel is dedicated to John the Baptist, his family is portrayed opposite the Holy Family. The child St John crosses his arms over his chest, showing his reverence. The lighting stresses the mothers and their children, Joseph and Zachariah disappear into the shadows. The unusually broad format of the painting suggest that it was originally meant to be placed above the altar.