The Holy Family

One of many versions, many of them copies.

Saint Joseph, wearing a straw hat and spectacles, reads from a book on a lectern. The infant Christ is girdled with the Virgin's rosary beads. The Virgin holds a bunch of cherries, perhaps included as a symbol of heaven. On the left is a vase of lilies, symbolic of the Virgin's purity, as well as a cut lemon and a knife.

The painter originally showed the Child sitting on the Virgin's right knee.

Key facts

Artist dates
active about 1511; died 1541/2
Full title
The Holy Family
Date made
probably about 1525
Medium and support
Oil on oak
49.4 × 36.5 cm
Acquisition credit
Salting Bequest, 1910
Inventory number
Location in Gallery