The holy family by Albrecht Durer

The holy family - Albrecht Durer -

Artwork Information

TitleThe holy family
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance

About The holy family

The artwork titled “The Holy Family” is by Albrecht Dürer, a seminal figure of the Northern Renaissance, known for his religious paintings amongst other subjects. This particular piece is an embodiment of the devotional themes that were prevalent in the art of the period.

In the image, we see a detailed engraving featuring the Virgin Mary seated and holding the Christ Child. She is the central figure and is depicted with a serene expression, engaging gently with the infant Jesus. To her right, Saint Joseph can be seen looking over them, portrayed as a supportive, older figure with a contemplative look.

On the left side, an older man, possibly representing a saint or a holy figure, is resting on his arm and appears to be in conversation with the family. A younger female figure stands to Mary’s right; her gaze is directed towards the child, and her pose suggests a protective or adoring attitude, possibly representing Mary Magdalene.

The scene takes place outdoors, possibly hinting at the setting of the Nativity or a moment of rest during the Holy Family’s flight to Egypt. The environment is sketched with considerable attention to detail. Small features like plants and the textures of the garments, the wood, and the stones add a tactile element to the composition. This level of detail is characteristic of Dürer’s mastery of engraving and his dedication to capturing both the divine and the earthly with equal finesse. The lighting and shadowing effects demonstrate his skillful handling of the medium and his understanding of depth and volume.

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