Holy Family with Saint Anne (recto); Figure Sketches (verso) (Main View)

Pietro Testa

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum
Los Angeles, United States

The Virgin Mary sits on a cushioned throne, watching her mother Saint Anne lovingly clutching the baby Jesus. On the right, Saint Joseph peers eagerly over her shoulder. A cluster of putti hovers overhead, carrying a large piece of fabric to shelter the Holy Family from behind.

Pietro Testa produced two other compositional studies of this scene, probably in preparation for an altarpiece. Since this study lacks detail in the background and is the least finished of the three, it must be the earliest. The final drawing of the group is rounded at the top, implying a curved frame, but no final painting is known today.


  • Title: Holy Family with Saint Anne (recto); Figure Sketches (verso) (Main View)
  • Creator: Pietro Testa
  • Date Created: about 1645–1650
  • Location Created: Italy
  • Physical Dimensions: 37.3 × 25.2 cm (14 11/16 × 9 15/16 in.)
  • Type: Drawing
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Pen and brown ink, brown wash, and black chalk (recto); faint black and red chalk (verso)
  • Terms of Use: Open Content
  • Number: 84.GA.51
  • Culture: Italian
  • Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • Creator Display Name: Pietro Testa (Italian, 1612 - 1650)
  • Classification: Drawings (Visual Works)

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