Italian Paintings in the Norton Simon Museum with Nicholas Penny: Giovanni Battista Gaulli (“Il Baciccio”)

In celebration of the Museum’s new collection catalogue Italian Paintings in the Norton Simon Museum: The Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, author Nicholas Penny narrates a series of videos exploring a single painting in depth, and reveals some of the discoveries he made during the course of researching the book.

In this episode, Penny examines Saint Joseph Embracing the Infant Christ by Giovanni Battista Gaulli (“Il Baciccio”) from c. 1670–75. As he explains, an x-ray of this unusually tender, joyful painting revealed a very different composition beneath the surface, one in which Joseph is depicted in grief over his son’s future sacrifice.