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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

St. Joseph and the Christ Child.

Doménikos Theotokópoulos, known as El Greco.(c.1541 - 1614)
St. Joseph and the Christ Child. c. 1597-1599.
Oil on canvas. 289 x 147 cm
Capilla de San José, Toledo Cathedral, Toledo, Spain


The Chapel of San José, Toledo, was begun at the end of 1597.

The Chapel was dedicated to Saint Joseph, Saint Teresa of Avila`s favourite Saint. The original intention of the founder, Martín Ramírez (d. 1595) was to build a chapel for her (d. 1582).

The paintings for the high altar (still in place) were the Saint Joseph and the Christ Child, and above, the Coronation of the Virgin; and, for the side chapels, the Saint Martin and the Beggar and the Virgin and Child with Saints.

Saint Joseph and the Christ Child was the central painting of the high altar and probably the first of the series to be painted for the Chapel.

The commission for the Capilla de San Jose was one of the most important undertaken by El Greco since the commission for Santo Domingo el Antiguo in 1577-79

The Chapel was one of the first dedicated to St Joseph in the Christian world.

To the right of the figure of St Joseph is the representation of the City of Toledo.