Murillo dealt with this iconographic theme on numerous occasions, which was widespread in Christian art of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The praise earned by his images of the Baby Jesus with angelic beauty and the particular intensity of Joseph’s figure is well known. In the tunic of this Baby, the painter shows himself to be a master of the use of color, using the subtle pink tones in a skilful way. This admirable depiction of the childhood of Jesus has great similarities with one of his most famous paintings, the Buen Pastor [Good Shepherd] of the Museo Nacional del Prado, a work made around the same dates, with which it shares a pictorial technique and the naturalness in the face of the Child, which justifies his renown for his portrait ability.


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