About this artwork
A rare but poignant scene of fatherhood, this sheet depicts the rough and bearded Joseph looking helplessly down at the sleeping, recumbent form of the Christ child; his thoughts could be dwelling on how he will be unable to protect his son from the sacrifice he would have to make. Saint Joseph was especially popular in 17th-century Counter-Reformation Spain, as he was reputed to have helped heal Saint Teresa of Ávila’s paralysis. This tender picture is one of only about 70 known autograph drawings by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, founder of a drawing academy in Seville and one of the most esteemed artists of the Spanish Baroque.
- Currently Off View
- Prints and Drawings
- Bartolomé Estéban Murillo
- Saint Joseph and the Sleeping Christ Child
- Pen and brown ink, with brush and brown wash, over black chalk, on ivory laid paper, laid down on beige wove card
- Inscribed recto, l.c, in pen and brown ink: "Bartolomé Murillo fecit"
- 164 × 136 mm (primary support); 179 × 153 mm (secondary support)
- Gift of Dorothy Braude Edinburg to the Harry B. and Bessie K. Braude Memorial Collection