Guido Reni's St. Joseph And The Christ Child

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Guido Reni’s piece titled Saint Joseph and the Christ Child (Museum of Fine Arts, Houston) shows Saint Joseph holding baby Jesus as if he were being highly praised. The piece was made between 1638-40 and is currently on display at the Houston Museum of Fine Arts. It is an oil on canvas piece and about 3 ½ long and 2 ½ feet wide. Guido Reni used exquisite skills to create a great visual for the Catholic leaders. He was sanctioned by the church for many depictions of saints and holy figures which he did very realistically. Reni made many extraordinary religious paintings during the Catholic Counter Reformation. It is a very simple yet tasteful piece with many notable symbols that are created by unique techniques including vague color, a 2…show more content…
Jesus holds what seems to be an apple expressing dualism within its allegory. The apple is obviously a “symbol representing the fall of man in the Garden of Eden but also since the apple is from the Tree of Knowledge it is also alluding to his future mission as Redeemer of mankind from original sin”. In the painting, saints and religious figures, like many mythological figures were represented through symbols and unique identifying traits. One of the items used to identify Saint Joseph is the Christ child in his arms. The choice of Saint Joseph as the subject probably directly relates to the rejuvenated Catholic spirituality of the era. Also during the time baroque paining become popular such as this. This painting is a perfect example of how a mannerist using chiaroscuro to his advantage. In historical context Saint Joseph was chosen by God to be Jesus’s father on earth. God knew that Jesus would need a foster father to raise him and teach him. Saint Joseph obviously took this to heart because in the painting you can see him looking and being very affectionate with the…show more content…
It is composed of many shapes since it is two-dimensional. Most of the shapes are rounded off which include the head of the Christ child and Joseph himself, the apple, and even the shape of the cloak on the Saint Joseph. The figures are fairly shaped and scaled giving the painting a natural authentic look and feel. The shifts in color give the objects their line and shape. Which is very evident in the facial features on the men. The lines are flowing to make all the objects. Another cool thing is that in the forehead of the Saint Joseph the usage of lines portray him to have emotions which seem to look like amazement or

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