The owners of this artwork, the Musée Jacquemart-André in Paris, France, list it specifically at 1510 which would place it right at the end of Botticelli's career. It is 151cm tall, and 89cm wide. As with many of his lesser known artworks, the piece has been attributed to others at times, including some of his own assistants, but current wisdom suggests that actually the painting did actually come from the master's own hands. It can be found in the museum's Venetian Gallery, even though Botticelli himself was actually a Florentine. The museum have looked into the history of this artwork and believe that an assistant did help out in the figure of Saint Joseph, but that the rest of the composition was completed by Botticelli himself. Modern science can help to confirm these types of beliefs, and is being used more and more by the major galleries and museums of the world.
Mary and the child are captured here alongside a tired looking donkey whose head is bowed. The saint stands just behind. This narrow artwork features little other detail, with none of the landscapes that we have seen in some of his other paintings. There is an addition of a bush to the left which carries the artist's use of detail which he used many times for his plants that can be found in the background of some of his paintings - notice the pattern leaves which ensure interest even in this supportive element. We see a small slice of sky in the background too, and a sandy ground on which these figures continues to trudge ever forwards. Again, there is no brutality or honesty here, with a polite, modest summary of the event but without shocking the viewer with elements of reality.
The painting can be found in the Musée Jacquemart-André which is a private house based in Paris, France. A delightful selection of traditional art is displayed all around the house, which is an attraction in itself. Ucello's much loved St George and the Dragon is one of the highlights to be found here and there is also a number of other notable artists included here too, such as Luca della Robbia, Jacques-Louis David, Andrea Mantegna and Canaletto. The building itself was formerly home to Édouard André (1833–1894) and Nélie Jacquemart (1841–1912) before being purchased for the particular purpose of housing a growing art collection. Despite the large amount of cultural attractions available in Paris, this house still receives a good number of visitors who appreciate the charming way in which these artworks are displayed.