Holy Family (1493 – 1494) by Albrecht Durer

Holy Family - Albrecht Durer - 1493 - 1494

Artwork Information

TitleHoly Family
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Date1493 - 1494
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance

About Holy Family

The artwork titled “Holy Family” by Albrecht Dürer, created between 1493 and 1494, is a religious painting from the Northern Renaissance period. The piece exemplifies the detailed line work and religious themes characteristic of Dürer’s oeuvre and of the era’s art in Northern Europe.

In “Holy Family,” the composition focuses on the intimate depiction of the Virgin Mary with the Christ Child on her lap. Mary is seated on the ground, her body covered with flowing and intricate drapery that displays Dürer’s mastery of texture and form. Beside her, Joseph is depicted as an older man, engrossed in reading a large tome, which is common iconography for Joseph, symbolizing his role in the upbringing and education of Jesus.

The background presents a detailed landscape, with a variety of trees stretching into the distance. Within this landscape, there are small figures and architectural structures, adding to the depth and context of the setting. The meticulous attention to detail in the foliage and the surrounding environment is a testament to Dürer’s skill in imbuing his works with a sense of realism and complexity.

Dürer’s expertise in engraving and drawing is evident in the delicate lines and the sense of volume in the figures and drapery. This work reflects the Northern Renaissance’s focus on realism, nature, and detail while still conveying the spiritual and religious sensibilities of the period through the subject matter of the Holy Family.

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