Francesco Trevisiani received his basic art education from Antonio Zanchi in Venice. Subsequently he moved to Rome, where he remained until his death. He was supported by a number of patrons, such as Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni, Cardinal Chigi, and Pope Clement XI, at whose request he decorated the dome of the cathedral in Urbino. He also worked at San Giovanni in Laterano and other major churches in Rome. He has very successfully imitated the works of Correggio and Parmigianino.
This painting depicts the Holy Family: the Virgin Mary, St. Joseph, and the infant Jesus Christ. The grouping is completed with St. John the Baptist, who is depicted here as a young boy and is typically dressed in a camel skin with a cross with a white ribbon in his hand. Jesus is asleep in his mother's lap, partially shrouded in a white blanket. The Virgin Mary is dressed in a red robe, a blue cloak, and a scarf draped over her hair. She embraces her baby tenderly, while she seems about to fall asleep herself. Her face is shown in profile, executed in porcelain tones with finely painted rosy cheeks. In the background, St. Joseph with a book is emerging from half-shadow. The light is focused mainly on the Virgin Mary and the child.
(expert opinion: Alessandro Delpriori, PhD, Università di Firenze)