Saint Joseph Embracing the Infant Christ
c. 1670-75
On View

Saint Joseph Embracing the Infant Christ provides a characteristic example of Baciccio's style of easel painting, which is vigorously Baroque in design and conception. The dynamic folds of drapery which envelop the figures are profoundly influenced by the sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Baciccio's native Genoese traditions are evident in the dark background, the use of highly saturated, warm colors and the broad, painterly handling.


  • Artist Name: Giovanni Battista Gaulli, called Il Baciccio (Italian, 1639-1709)
  • Title: Saint Joseph Embracing the Infant Christ
  • Date: c. 1670-75
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 50-1/4 x 38-1/8 in. (127.6 x 96.8 cm)
  • Credit Line: The Norton Simon Foundation
  • Accession Number: F.1973.36.P
  • Copyright: © The Norton Simon Foundation

Object Information

Cardinal Rasponi Nobili di Ravenna (1615–1675).
Cardinal Giuseppe Renato Imperiali, by 14 February 1737, and by descent to;
Michele Imperiali (1667–1738);
Marchese Lorenzo Imperiali Francavilla, Naples, sold through;
[Gaetano Giardiello, Naples, 1831 to];
Robert Townley-Parker (1793-1879), Cuerden Hall and Astley, Lancashire, by descent to;
Captain Robert Townley-Parker (d. 1894);
Thomas Townley-Parker (d. 1906);
Reginald Arthur Tatton (1857-1926), Cuerden Hall, Lancashire, by descent to his son;
Captain Thomas Arthur Tatton, Cuerden Hall, Lancashire (sale, London, Christie’s, 28 February 1947, no. 75, as Guido Reni, to);
[Olivero Tradardi, Stockholm and Rome, by 1972, consigned to;]
[Heim Gallery, London, sold with Tradardi 1973 to];
The Norton Simon Foundation.

Paintings & Sculptures of the Italian Baroque

  • London, Heim Gallery, 1973-05-30 to 1973-09-21

[on loan]

  • Detroit Institute of Arts, 1973-12-19 to

Reinstallation of Galleries: Art History of the 17th and 18th Century Gains Fresh Dimension

  • Norton Simon Museum, 1993-09-02 to 1995-08-13

The Expressive Body: Memory, Devotion, Desire (1400-1750)

  • Norton Simon Museum, 2021-10-15 to 2022-03-07
  • McCorquodale, Charles, The Connoisseur, p. 207
  • Soprani, Raffaele; and Carlo Giuseppe Ratti, Vite de' pittori, scultori, ed architetti genovesi, 1797, p. 84
  • Catalouge of the Pictures at Cuerden Hall Preston, The Property of Reginald A Tatton, 1913, no. 28
  • Rodinò, Prosperi Valenti, Bollettino d'Arte, 1953, p. 43 no. 70, p. 55 no. 18, fig. 11 pp. 28, 43, 45, 55
  • Engas, Robert, The Painting of Baciccio: Giovanni Battista Gaulli 1639-1709, 1964, p. 173
  • Heim Gallery, Paintings and Sculptures of the Italian Baroque, 1973, no. 9
  • Santifaller, Maria, Jahrbuch der Staatlichen Kustammlungen in Baden-Wurtemberg, 1976, no. 6, fig. 1 pp. 65-67, 82
  • Selleck, Jack, Faces, 1977, p. 77
  • Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), 1986, cover, p. 3052
  • Masterpieces from the Norton Simon Museum, 1989, p. 50
  • Sestieri, Giancarlo, Repertorio della pittura romana della fine del Siecento e del Settecento, 1994, vol. I, p. 79; vol II, fig. 440 p. 79
  • Museo Baciccio: in margine a quattro inventari inediti, 1996, no. 64
  • Fagiolo dell'Arco, Maurizio; Dieter Graf, and Francesco Petrucci, Giovan Battista Gaulli, Il Baciccio 1639-1709, 1999, p. 200, no. 55, p. 54, fig. 9 pp. 53, 54, 198, 200, 341
  • Bernardini, Maria Grazia, Bernini a Montecitorio, 2002, fig. 21 pp. 73-76
  • Kunsthistorisches Museum mit MVK und ÖTM, Francis Bacon and the Tradition of Art, 2003, Plate 10 pp. 68-69
  • Campbell, Sara, Collector Without Walls: Norton Simon and His Hunt for the Best, 2010, cat. 1002 p. 361
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