Skip to main content
The Holy Family
Luca Signorelli
/

The Virgin Mary holds her clothing out the way as Christ leans towards her to breastfeed, and Saint Joseph dotes upon him. By using a plain dark background and a tightly cropped close-up view, Signorelli invites us to share in this intimate moment.

Signorelli was well known for his ability to paint the human body convincingly; here, Christ has a study torso and chubby folds of baby fat around his armpits and inner thighs. He holds a strawberry plant in his hand, a symbol of his fruitful and righteous life.

The picture was heavily restored before entering the National Gallery’s collection, and discoloured paint from the restoration remains near the Virgin’s ear, and in Christ’s left shoulder and Joseph’s face, as well as in the draperies.

Key facts
Artist Luca Signorelli
Artist dates about 1440/50 - 1523
Full title The Holy Family
Date made probably about 1490-5
Medium and support Oil on wood
Dimensions 80.6 x 64.8 cm
Acquisition credit Salting Bequest, 1910
Inventory number NG2488
Location in Gallery Not on display
Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download an 800px wide, 72dpi copy of this image.

License this image

License and download a high resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.

License image
Download low resolution image

This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.

Examples of non-commercial use are:

  • Research, private study, or for internal circulation within an educational organisation (such as a school, college or university)
  • Non-profit publications, personal websites, blogs, and social media

The image file is 800 pixels on the longest side.

As a charity, we depend upon the generosity of individuals to ensure the collection continues to engage and inspire. Help keep us free by making a donation today.

Yes, I'd like to donate
Or
Download low resolution image

You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.

Creative Commons Logo