Dating: 17th century
Material: Oil on Wood
Dimensions (cm): 63,1 x 47,8
Inv. no.: PNA671 / PD0719dep / PNA66701
This painting represents the biblical episode of two cousins meeting: the Virgin Mary – pregnant with Jesus – and St. Elizabeth – who was also close to giving birth – seconded by their respective spouses: St. Joseph and St. Zechariah.
They are dressed in warm toned robes of red and carmine that contrast with the lighter earth tones of the architecture behind them.
The canvas portrays a certain theatricality which is visible in the poses and gestures of the Saints, tempered, however, by the classicism of the background architecture, which also serves to reel the several depths.
The eldest reference to Our Lady of the Visitation belongs to the Franciscan Order which celebrated it in Italy since 1263. The celebration was later extended to the whole Latin Church by Pope Urban VI (1378-1389) to propitiate, by intercession of Mary, peace and unity among the divided Christians after the Western Schism in the 14th century.
The current liturgical year abandoned the traditional date of the 2nd of July to institute the last day of May to consecrate the month which is popularly devoted to the cult of the Virgin Mary.