Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn

Holy Family

Holy Family
(click image to zoom-in)
Author: Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn
History Painting, Painting, Oil on canvas, 117x91 cm
Origin: Holland, 1645

In the 1640s Rembrandt produced several works on the subject of the Holy Family. The world of peace and love, lost after the death of his wife Saskia, seemed possible once more after the appearance in Rembrandt's house in 1645 of Hendrickje Stoffels. It has been suggested that the features of Hendrickje are to seen in the face of the Virgin Mary and that the little child asleep in the cradle is Titus, son of Rembrandt and Saskia.

Joseph is hard at work at his bench, but the yoke in his hand may also be linked with the legend that Christ would free the people of Israel from the yoke. Mary slightly opens the curtain to look at the face of her son, her face radiating the light of love and tenderness. The warmth of the home is felt in the brownish gloom of the peaceful household, into which a clear golden light pierces, accompanying the hovering little angels. The red cloth which covers the cradle of the Messiah rings out like a declaration.

Personage: Jesus, the Virgin Mary, St Joseph
Source of entry: Collection of baron L.A. Crozat de Tierra, Paris, 1772
Theme: The Bible and Christianity
Exibition: Dutch art: 17th century

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