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Artwork of the Week

Artwork of the Week: December 19, 2022

The Nativity with God the Father
Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione (1609-1664), 'The Nativity with God the Father, the Dove of the Holy Spirit and Two Angels'<em>,</em> c.1645, etching, 11 5/8 x 8 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, gift of Ronald and Eileen Ragsdale, 2020.<br>

Castiglione was an eclectic artist praised as one of the most important technical innovators in the history of printmaking. His etchings exhibit a dramatic range of dark tonalities and rich texture suggestive of the Dutch Masters Anthony van Dyck andRembrandt van Rijn.

Throughout his career, Castiglione returned repeatedly to the subject of the Nativity. In this version, he presents a loosely rendered variation on the Holy Family. Joseph, omitted entirely from the scene, has been replaced by God the Father rending the veil between heaven and earth. In the tradition of Dutch painters attempting to elicit emotion, we become spectators along with angels and the Holy Spirit to this intimatemoment where a divine and attentive Father claims his Son.