The Visitation

Two cousins share in a moment of mutual happiness in this scene of rejoicing. The rushes up the steps to congratulate her elderly cousin , placing her left hand on Elizabeth's shoulder and clasping the other. Both women celebrate their respective pregnancies, the Virgin with the infant and Elizabeth with John the Baptist. Elizabeth had particular cause for celebration as she had conceived in old age, after a lifetime of barrenness. Juan Carreņo de Miranda conveyed the scene thorough energetic motion and nervous handling of the pen. Vigorous strokes describe the flowing outline of the Virgin's cloak, while summary passages of in gray-brown define Elizabeth's head and back. Amid the swirling of lines on the left several indistinct heads are visible. Another mother crouches at the foot of the steps, holding a baby in her arms.

Pen and brown ink and gray-brown wash, heightened with white gouache, over touches of black chalk (recto); Black chalk (verso) on light brown paper (about 1655-1660)

by Juan Carreņo de Miranda (Spanish, 1614-1685)

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