This is one of the finest and most beautiful of numerous small paintings of the Holy Family which Schedoni painted in the last years of his life when he was in the service of Ranuccio I Farnese in Parma.
Schedoni trained in Rome with Federico Zuccaro but worked chiefly in Modena and Parma. He is best known for his small, refined devotional works. Correggio and Parmigianino were his chief influences, but he also admired the Carracci who worked in nearby Bologna.
The close-knit composition, the golden light and the natural gestures of the figures create a powerful sense of human intimacy and show the influence of Correggio. According to an inscription on the reverse, the painting belonged to Schedoni's wife.