‘The Holy Family with young John the Baptist and Saint Elizabeth’, etching on paper

‘The Holy Family with young John the Baptist and Saint Elizabeth’, etching on paper

After Guido Reni (1575–1642).



The Holy Family with young John the Baptist and Saint Elizabeth, etching after the work of Guido Reni (Italian, Bologna 1575–1642 Bologna). The 16th/17th century engraver is anonymous. Period: ca. 1590–1610. Made on laid paper with a vage watermark visible.

Guido Reni (1575-1642)

Guido Reni was born on November 4, 1575 in Bologna and was a well-known Italian painter and engraver. At the age of 20 he was a student of the Augostino, Annibale and Lodovico Carracci family for a short period. In 1598 he was commissioned to execute decorative frescoes for the facade of the Palazzo del Reggimento in Bologna. This was the start of his glittering career.

After 1600 he began his many trips to Rome and continued to work there until about 1614. During the same period he met Caravaggio there. Instead of teaming up to join forces, they became rivals. In Rome, Guido Reni worked on several frescoes, including those of the San Gregorio Magno and the Palazzo Rospigliosi Pallavaccini. Around 1620 he returned to Bologna, where he started his own academy. Many new talented artists emerged from this, including Giovanni Michelini and Francesco Sessi.

After a very successful career, Guido Reni died in 1642. Many of his works of art are still exhibited in various European museums, including in London, Paris, Rome and Berlin.


Etching is considered the most important technique for producing prints by old masters. It is a very traditional process discovered by Daniel Hopfer (1470 – 1536) in Germany. Daniel Hopfer already used the etching technique on combat clothing before applying it to make a print. A strong acid or pickling agent is used to cut metal surfaces (usually copper, zinc or steel). The metal plate is covered with a waxy soil which is resistant to acid. The artist then scratches his or her design into the metal with different types of etching needles. After a bath of acid or pickling agent, the scratched metal undergoes a redox reaction, leaving the drawing in the wax on the plate. Ink is poured over the plate and wiped off again to fill in the scratched areas. By then pressing the plate in paper, an etching is created.


French school, Dutch school, Italian school and so much more. The word ‘school’ is used with various meanings and often to describe a certain type of painting style.

In its narrowest sense, the word ‘school’ can denote a group of painters who worked under de influence of another artist. A great example is the ‘school of Leonardo da Vinci’ were a large group of artists worked in the studio of, or under the influence of, Leonardo da Vinci. They are also known as ‘The Leonardeschi’.

In its widest sense, the word ‘school’ can denote a whole country of painters and describe a typical style which reflects the painters of that country. An example is ‘Italian school’ or ‘French school’. In another sense, the word ‘school’ can also denote a certain region of a country. The ‘Venetian school’ applies to painters who worked under local influence or with general similarities in color or technique. Famous examples of ‘Venetian school’ artists are Lazzaro Bastiani (1430-1512), Giovanni Bellini (1430 – 1516) and Giulio Campi (1500-1572).

‘The Holy Family with young John the Baptist and Saint Elizabeth’, etching on paper


Additional information





Sold with frame

This item is sold without frame

Dimensions excluding frame

19.3 x 25 centimeters


Etching on paper


After Guido Reni (1575–1642)., Italian school


'The Holy Family with young John the Baptist and Saint Elizabeth'






16th century


Plate signed


Due to prolonged exposure to the elements, signs of aging are clearly visible. However, this contributes to a unique and characteristic presentation of this work.


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