It was painted when the artist had just returned to Italy after spending 14 years at a Spanish court. By this time, she had married Orazio Lomellini, a Genoese ship captain. The artists obtained her inspirations and subjects for painting from the many visits to various courts and her contacts with painters of great renown such as Luca Cambiaso (Pizzagalli, p. 12). Through these contacts, Anguissola stayed in touch with current developments in art.
The art is unique and more interesting to study than others by the painter are because the artist usually painted portraits. The art is oil-on-canvas and measures 49.5" x 43.5" or 125.7x110.5 centimeters. It is one of the Lowe Art Museum collections at the University of Miami. This masterpiece is among the well-known Counter-Reformist works, which portrayed the interests of counter-reformists in devotional images. The main purpose of these arts was to appeal to the viewers in an emotional manner, never achieved by reformist painters (Pizzagalli, p. 15).
As a counter-reformation art, ‘The Holy Family with St. Anne and John the Baptist’ is depicted in a clear and accurate fashion with little imaginary or unnecessary embelishments and decorations. As is the case with other Renaissance paintings, this painting has teh features of the then developments in the depiction of light through space. In addition, light is representaed through its reflection from different surfaces. This representation of light through refleciton from surfaces and space helps the painting to achieve extreme realism. The use of oil paint instead of tempera or fresco, really helped the painter to achieve light representation.
In this art, oli painting helped the artists to achieve a richer colour, finer detail and greater realism. Like other oil painting, these features must have been achieved by many weeks of reworking the paining.The artist, through the use of the visual features of the counter-reformation and reinassance