(b. 1625, Camerano, d. 1713, Roma)

The Holy Night (The Nativity)

Oil on canvas, 99 x 75 cm
Gemäldegalerie, Dresden

Maratti was the pre-eminent exponent of late Baroque classicism in Rome. The major inspiration for the present painting was Correggio's large altarpiece of the Holy Night with its striking nocturnal lighting. The painter has not only directly borrowed the pose and position of Mary and the Christ Child from Correggio's altarpiece, but also the youthful grace of the Virgin's features. Inn their use of light, both artists clearly evoke the light of God promised in the Old Testament, which became a reality with the birth of Jesus.