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Attributed to Orazio Cambiaso
Genoa, active 1582-1600
The Holy Family with St. Anne by a Fireplace
Oil on Panel.
This is an apocryphal scene from the infancy of Christ. Such charming, anecdotal variations were inspired by the popularity of Netherlandish genre paintings and conditioned by the Counter-Reformationís imperative that religious imagery engage the viewer. In his late devotional paintings, Luca Cambiaso often used nocturnal settings to increase the sense of intimacy and mystery, and his late drawings include many versions of this subject. The combination of these elements in the present painting has led some to attribute the work to Cambiaso himself. Yet, the uncertain relation between the figures and the heavy touch indicate that it is instead the work of a close follower, possibly his son, Orazio.