Holy Family with three Hares (1498) by Albrecht Durer

Holy Family with three Hares - Albrecht Durer - 1498

Artwork Information

TitleHoly Family with three Hares
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance
Current LocationStaatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe, Germany

About Holy Family with three Hares

The artwork titled “Holy Family with three Hares” is a woodcut created by Albrecht Dürer in 1498, currently housed at the Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe in Karlsruhe, Germany. As a distinguished example of the Northern Renaissance art movement, this religious painting reflects the spiritual and meticulous nature characteristic of Dürer’s work.

In the woodcut, we see the Holy Family—Mary, Joseph, and the infant Jesus—set within a tranquil natural landscape. Mary is seated and prominently placed in the foreground, tenderly holding the Christ Child, who appears to be resting in her arms. Joseph stands beside them, looking down upon the scene, staff in hand, embodying a protective figure. The inclusion of three hares at their feet adds a layer of symbolism, and these creatures were sometimes used to represent the Holy Trinity during the Renaissance period.

Around the figures, flora and fauna are meticulously rendered, emphasizing Dürer’s attention to detail and interest in nature. In the background, lush trees, a serene landscape with hills, and a distant view of a town are depicted, providing a sense of depth and context. Above, angels float in the sky, with one bearing a crown, perhaps symbolizing the divine nature of Jesus and his future as the ‘King of Kings.’ The sky is filled with soft clouds and flying birds, enhancing the heavenly atmosphere of the scene. The intricate details and expressive faces characteristic of Dürer’s work are evident here, demonstrating his mastery as an engraver and his contribution to the visual language of the Northern Renaissance.

Furthermore, Dürer’s monogram, a prominent feature in his artworks, can be seen in the lower center of the composition, serving as both a signature and a mark of authenticity for his creations. This artwork, combining religious iconography with rich natural elements, reflects the reverence for both the spiritual and the natural world during the era.

Other Artwork from Albrecht Durer

More Northern Renaissance Artwork

Scroll to Top