Giordano’s creative composition includes two separate episodes related to Mary’s miraculous conception of Christ. On the left Mary kneels below a vision of God and the Holy Spirit, a representation (with the implied presence of Christ in her womb) of the Holy Trinity. On the right Joseph sleeps in his carpentry shop as an angel appears to him in a dream to explain the conception. Giordano went to Spain in 1692 at the invitation of King Charles II. The flood of pale, golden light and the use of luminous pastel tones seen here are hallmarks of Giordano’s late style and were enormously influential in Spain, where he worked for ten years.
Provenance research is on-going at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Please contact Annette Schlagenhauff, Curator of Special Projects, at firstname.lastname@example.org, if you have questions, or if you have additional information to share with us.