Virgin, Joseph and Child in Oval

Carlo Maratti (1625-1713), Virgin, Joseph and Child in Oval, etching, c. 1650’s [with the inscription Carolus Maratus in et fecit at left, Romae con lictentia de Sup at right in the plate below the oval]. Reference: Bartsch 4. In fine condition, remains of prior hinging verso, with a small (3/16″) margin all around, 6 3/4 x 5 1/16, the sheet7 1/8 x  5 7/16 inches.

A fine clear impression, on old laid paper.

Carlo Maratti was a precocious child, sent by his parents to Rome to study art when he was only 11. There he became the student of Andrea Sacchi, who was at the time the chief Italian-born representative of Roman High Baroque classicism. Maratti worked with Sacchi for 24 years, becoming a part of the Roman art establishment. He was eagerly sought after by popes and princes for portraits, altarpieces, and decoration of Rome’s most important churches, including Saint Peter’s.

Maratti made only 14 etchings, most probably before 1660, while he was still working in the studio of Andrea Sacchi. In Virgin, Joseph and Child Maratti shows his mastery of the etching technique, with several levels of shading, as well as the ability to create a wonderful composition within a relatively small space.