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Dream of Saint Joseph

Valentin de Boulogne French

Not on view

An angel appears to Joseph in a dream, urging him to take Mary and Jesus and flee into Egypt. In the seventeenth century, Joseph became a paradigm of the guardian-father. Here, Valentin employs touch to enhance the physicality of the figures. One scholar has alluded to the importance of the notion of God’s grace in such a picture, to "the heavenly apparition at the very moment when, incapable of rising to the truths of the Spirit, exhausted by the effort, man falls back in his torpor."

Dream of Saint Joseph, Valentin de Boulogne (French, Coulommiers-en-Brie 1591–1632 Rome), Oil on canvas

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