The Visitation (Primary Title)

Mattia Preti, Italian, 1613 - 1699 (Artist)

oil on canvas
Unframed: 47 5/16 × 67 1/32 in. (120.17 × 170.26 cm)
Framed: 58 1/2 × 78 1/4 × 3 1/8 in. (148.59 × 198.76 × 7.94 cm)
Not on view
Preti is generally considered to be the last great exponent of Caravaggesque naturalism. Born in Calabria and active in Naples and Malta later in his career, he was actually working in Rome at the time this painting was produced. Here, Preti represents the meeting of the Virgin Mary with her older cousin Elizabeth. Mary hastened to visit Elizabeth following the Annunciation by the angel Gabriel. Elizabeth, who was soon to give birth to St. John the Baptist, recognizes that Mary has been chosen as the mother of the Son of God, and greets her with the words, “Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. . . . For lo, as soon as the voice of thy salvation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy” (Luke 1:42-44).
Arthur and Margaret Glasgow Endowment
Sydney, Art Gallery of New South Wales – Melbourne, National Gallery of Victoria, Caravaggio & his World. Darkness & Light, November 2003 – May 2004, n. 42;
Milan, Palazzo Reale - Vienna. Liechtenstein Museum, Caravaggio and Europe, October 2005 – July 2006, n. VIII. 3.
Image released via Creative Commons CC-BY-NC

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