The Holy Family

Joos van Cleve Netherlandish

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 636

Joos based this depiction of the Virgin and Child on a celebrated work by Jan van Eyck, but with the addition of a figure of Saint Joseph. The fruits and wine allude to Christ’s incarnation and sacrifice, yet, presented as part of everyday life, they also testify to the emerging genre of still-life painting. The combination of quotidian domestic intimacy and symbolic meaning must have had mass appeal, since many variations of this painting were produced for sale on the open market.

The Holy Family, Joos van Cleve (Netherlandish, Cleve ca. 1485–1540/41 Antwerp), Oil on wood

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