Fundación Focus
<em>Velázquez Centre</em>

Velázquez Centre

Focus Foundation

Bartolomeo Cavarozzi

(Viterbo, 1590 – Rome, 1625)
Artist biography

Holy family, c. 1620

Oil on canvas

194  x 136 cm.

Fundación Fondo de Cultura de Sevilla

Holy family, c. 1620

This work by Italian painter Bartolomeo Cavarozzi, a follower of Caravaggio, is crucial to understanding the realism in Velázquez’s painting, because he travelled to Spain between 1617 and 1619 and it is quite certain that the young artist from Seville must have seen his works in the city. The sense of intimacy and strong devotional impression in this piece, in some respects reminiscent of a Spanish pietá, mean it could have been commissioned for a private chapel or altar. Being able to see it alongside works by the young Velázquez gives the viewer the enjoyment of an unbeatable visual repertoire and chromatic beauty, making it possible to reconstruct the pictorial universe that nourished his painting during his training. The intense naturalism of the figures of Joseph, the Virgin and the Child, executed in the style similar to Caravaggio’s, are the perfect complement to the earliest works by the young Velázquez. This explains his importance as one of the main catalysts of realism painting in Spain.

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