Christ in the House of His Parents (The Carpenter’s Shop) (1849-50) by John Millais

Christ in the House of His Parents (The Carpenter's Shop) - John Millais - 1849

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Artwork Information

TitleChrist in the House of His Parents (The Carpenter's Shop)
ArtistJohn Millais
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions139.7 x 86.4 cm
Art MovementRomanticism
Current LocationPrivate Collection, Tate Britain, London, UK

About Christ in the House of His Parents (The Carpenter's Shop)

“Christ in the House of His Parents (The Carpenter’s Shop)” is an oil on canvas artwork by John Millais, executed in 1849. This painting belongs to the Romanticism movement and is classified as a religious painting. It measures 139.7 x 86.4 cm and is held in a private collection on display at the Tate Britain in London, UK.

The artwork portrays a young Jesus Christ in the workshop of his father, Joseph the Carpenter. Christ, in the center, appears to have injured his hand, which he holds out to his mother, Mary, for comfort. The wound symbolically references the stigmata and foreshadows Christ’s crucifixion. Mary kneels beside him with a tender, concerned expression, her hand gently clasping his. To the right, Joseph, identifiable by the tools and the carpentry work, looks on with concern, steadying Christ’s arm.

On the left side of the artwork, a young John the Baptist can be seen bringing in a bowl of water, possibly to clean the wound, a gesture hinting at his future baptism of Christ. An older woman, who could be interpreted as Saint Anne, Mary’s mother, peers over with a sense of worry. The background includes a flock of sheep through the door, a symbol often associated with the Christian flock and Christ as the good shepherd. The composition is intricate with vivid details, simultaneously portraying an everyday scene and imbuing it with deep religious symbolism and foreshadowing.

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