The Dream of St. Joseph

Creation date
oil on canvas
Mark Descriptions
inscribed: RIÇI PICT REGI
66 x 44-3/8 in.
Credit line
Anonymous Art Fund
Accession number
Currently On View In
William L. and Jane H. Fortune Gallery - H214

In a subject that became popular in Spain during the 17th century, an angel appears to St. Joseph in a dream and explains that Mary has miraculously conceived a child. The luminous angel points to a vision of Mary with the infant Christ in her womb and the dove of the Holy Spirit above her. The veneration of the expectant Virgin as protectress of women in childbirth was prevalent at the Spanish court and was promoted by the royal confessor.

Francisco Rizi was the Spanish-born son of a Bolognese painter who went to work for Philip II at the Escorial in 1583. Rizi, who became royal painter to Philip IV in 1658, was also active as a stage designer.

Granados Collection, Madrid, until 2002 {1}; (Whitfield Fine Art Ltd., London); acquired by IMA in 2006.

{1} According to Clovis Whitfield, prior to its export in 2003, the painting has always been in Spain (Ministerio de Educación y Cultura Permiso de Exportación, n. 682/2002).
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