The Holy Family in a hall (1509) by Albrecht Durer

The Holy Family in a hall - Albrecht Durer - 1509

Artwork Information

TitleThe Holy Family in a hall
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance
Current LocationKunstmuseum Basel, Basel, Switzerland

About The Holy Family in a hall

The artwork titled “The Holy Family in a hall” is by Albrecht Dürer, a leading figure of the Northern Renaissance. Created in 1509, the piece belongs to the genre of religious painting and currently resides at the Kunstmuseum Basel in Basel, Switzerland. Dürer’s work is renowned for its intricate detail and rich symbolism which were hallmarks of the Northern Renaissance.

In this detailed monochrome drawing, we can see a depiction of the Holy Family, a common theme in Christian art referring to the child Jesus, his mother Mary, and his foster father, Joseph. The scene is set in a grand hall characterized by its architectural detail and classical elements. Mary sits centrally, holding the Christ Child, while Joseph can be seen in the background, bent over a table, likely engaged in his work as a carpenter. The drawing emits a sense of tranquility and domesticity, with distinct religious connotations given the subjects.

The composition is rich with various objects and figures that create a narrative within the setting. In the foreground, several small figures, possibly angels or cherubs, are depicted playing and engaging with each other, underlining the sacredness of the scene. The interior of the hall is classicist in design, featuring columns, arches, and a ceiling dome with intricate lattice work, as well as garlands and a perched peacock, a symbol that can represent immortality. The attention to detail in the room’s architecture and the objects within it adds a layer of depth and texture that invites the viewer to examine the image closely. The landscape visible through the archway in the background further adds to the depth and context of the setting, suggesting a connection between the sacred interior and the outside world.

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