The Holy Family with Joachim and Saint Ann (1511) by Albrecht Durer

The Holy Family with Joachim and Saint Ann - Albrecht Durer - 1511

Artwork Information

TitleThe Holy Family with Joachim and Saint Ann
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance

About The Holy Family with Joachim and Saint Ann

“The Holy Family with Joachim and Saint Ann” is a religious painting by Albrecht Dürer, dating back to 1511. The artwork belongs to the Northern Renaissance movement, a period characterized by a detailed approach to art and an emphasis on Christian subjects.

In this depiction, the central focus appears to be the infant, who is being adored by the surrounding figures. These figures represent the extended Holy Family. On the left, a veiled figure, likely representing Saint Ann, is looking down upon the scene, her hands clasped as if in prayer or contemplation. To her side, another figure, possibly Joachim, is gazing toward the infant with a gentle expression, emphasizing the familial bonding and veneration of the child.

The woman at the center is probably the Virgin Mary, seated and holding the child with grace and care. The child reaches out playfully, underscoring the blend of divinity and humanity in the representation of the Christ child.

The setting is outdoors, with a tree prominently dividing the background, and the lifelike folds of the garments of the figures, as well as the detailed nature around them, are indicative of the meticulous style of the Northern Renaissance. The attention to detail, the realistic depiction of textures and the interplay of light and shadow, all serve to enhance the religious narrative and the spiritual significance of the scene. The year “1511” inscribed at the top centre confirms the date of creation while the monogram represents Albrecht Dürer’s signature mark.

Overall, Dürer’s “The Holy Family with Joachim and Saint Ann” is a fine example of religious art from the Northern Renaissance, reflecting both the spiritual devotion and artistic skill that define Dürer’s legacy.

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