Luca Giordano Study for Visitation

Luca Giordano Study for Visitation


LUCA GIORDANO (1634-1705)
Circa 1695
Red chalk heightened with white, on paper
7 1/2″ x 10 1/8″

Luca Giordano, a pupil of Ribera, was an artist whose speed and versatility earned him the nicknames “Luca-fa-presto” (Work-quickly) and “Fulmine” (Lightning bolt). Giordano traveled extensively and was one of the most highly sought-after painters of his day. From 1692-1702, he was a court painter in Spain on the invitation of Charles II. Though his early work clearly reflects Ribera’s influence, he eventually embraced an airier, more decorative manner, with an exuberant use of color. He had a reputation for munificence, especially with poorer painters.

In the Visitation, Mary, pregnant with Jesus, visits her cousin Elizabeth, in whose womb stirs the infant John the Baptist. Elizabeth declares, “blessed art thou among women; blessed is the fruit of thy womb.” Giordano’s swift lines convey a gentleness and quiet joy expressive of the Biblical context, but also of the more quotidian ecstasy of two expectant mothers sharing their great news.

On the verso, a much freer study of Mary holding the baby Jesus, who reaches out to his cousin John.


Size framed is 16″ x 18 3/4″.