Holy Family on the Steps

Claudine Bouzonnet Stella French
After Nicolas Poussin French

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 690

Poussin painted over thirty renditions of the Holy Family, making it his most frequent subject. Bouzonnet Stella translated Poussin’s noblest treatment of the theme in this print based on her uncle Jacques Stella’s painted copy. The enthroned figures sit slightly above eye level upon a staircase that symbolizes the connection between heaven and earth. Mary and the infant Jesus crown a pyramidal arrangement flanked on the left by Saint Elizabeth and John the Baptist; in their shadow at right, Saint Joseph intently inscribes a tablet with his compass, signifying God’s creation of the world. Mediated by her uncle’s copy, Bouzonnet Stella used astutely hatched transitions of light and dark to complement this geometric composition.

Holy Family on the Steps, Claudine Bouzonnet Stella (French, Lyons 1636–1697 Paris), Engraving and etching

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.