Holy Family (Painting)

Holy Family. Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Inc. Photography by Edward OwenArtist/Maker: Unknown, copy after 1518 original by Raphael (1483-1520)[1]

Created: c. 1785

Origin/Purchase: Europe

Materials: oil on canvas

Dimensions: 97.8 x 67.3 (38 1/2 x 26 1/2 in.)

Location: Dining Room

Provenance: Thomas Jefferson; by descent to Ellen and Joseph Coolidge; by descent to Ellen Dwight; by gift to Frances M. Burke; by gift or purchase to the Washington Committee; by gift to Thomas Jefferson Foundation

Accession Number: 1955-45

Historical Notes: Jefferson obtained two copies of paintings after Raphael while he was in France, a Transfiguration (now lost) and the Holy Family. The Holy Family, which was commissioned by Lorenzo de' Medici for Francis I, was one of the jewels of the royal collection at the Louvre.[2]

At Monticello the Holy Family, roughly half the size of Raphael's original, hung in the Dining Room on the upper tier. A descendant reported that "the painting of 'Holy Family'" from "Raphael" which Mr. Jefferson had copied in the "Louvre" and which Ellen Dwight left to me, hung on the left of the arch in the dining room at "Monticello. . ."[3] After Jefferson's death the painting was one of the works of art held back from sale by Ellen Randolph Coolidge "because I thought it a pity to sacrifice them as the others were sacrificed."[4]

Footnotes

  1. This article is based on Stein, Worlds, 144.
  2. Luitpold Dussler, Raphael (London: Phaidon, 1971), 48.
  3. Martha Trist Burke, List of "Monticello Relics," 1907-08, Trust-Burke Collection, University of Virginia.
  4. Ellen Randolph Coolidge to Martha Jefferson Coolidge, July 21, 1833, Jefferson-Coolidge Family Collection, University of Virginia.

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