The Holy Family | MSK Gent
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The Holy Family

  • oil paint, canvas
  • 28.5 x 28.5 cm
  • Inv. 1913-P

Public Domain

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Jean-François Millet is mainly known as the painter of rural life in France. For these rural tableaux he often based himself on biblical stories or classic literature. The integration of such classic elements explains the religious, spiritual undertone in his work. Yet his work rarely centred on literal biblical subjects and figures. The Holy Family is an exception to this rule. The figures in this sketch are contemporary and timeless and could be part of a peasant or blue-collar family. On the other hand the smooth technique, the composition and the subject all refer to French artists of the Romantic period, and through them, to the Flemish masters of the Baroque.


Jean-François Millet RKD VIAF Wikidata
Gruchy 1814 - Barbizon 1875
painters (artists)AAT

Title The Holy Family
Period 19th century
Location France TGN
Collection paintings AAT
Object type oil paintings (visual works) AAT
Inventory number 1913-P
Acquisition credit gift
The Friends of the Museum
Current whereabouts Work on display
IIIF Manifest
Art & Architecture Thesaurus 300055874 religious symbolism AAT
25H landscapes Iconclass
Keywords Iconclass 11D Christ Iconclass
11D2 Christ as child or youth (in general) ~ Christian religion Iconclass
11F the Virgin Mary Iconclass
11F4 Madonna: i.e. Mary with the Christ-child Iconclass
11H saints Iconclass
11H(JOSEPH) the foster-father of Christ, Joseph of Nazareth, husband of Mary; possible attributes: flowering rod or wand, lily, carpenter's tools Iconclass
25G11 groups of trees Iconclass
25G3 trees Iconclass
25G31 shrubs Iconclass
25H114 low hill country Iconclass
25H153 bush, shrubs ~ forest Iconclass
42A3 mother and baby or young child Iconclass
42A30 motherhood Iconclass
42B12 mother-love Iconclass
42B742 mother and child(ren), woman and child(ren) (family group) Iconclass
42G family, relationship, descent Iconclass
48(+431) art (+ copy, copying ~ work of art) Iconclass
73 New Testament Iconclass
73A (scenes from the life of) John the Baptist and Mary Iconclass
73A4 Mary and Joseph Iconclass
73B81 Holy Family (alone), 'Trinitas terrestris' Iconclass
School / Style realism (artistic form of expression) AAT
historicism (theory) AAT
Catalogus van het Museum van Schoone Kunsten Gent : II: Moderne Meesters / Georges Chabot, Fritz Van Loo. - Gent : Ad. Hoste, 1932 (p. 108)
De school van Barbizon : Franse meesters van de 19de eeuw (tentoonstelling Gent, Museum voor Schone Kunsten, 14.09 - 28.11.1985 ; Den Haag, Gemeentemuseum 14.12.1985 - 23.02.1986 ; Parijs, Insitut Néerlandais, 1986) / John Sillevis, Hans Kraan, Robert Hoozee, Jacques Foucart. - Brussel : Gemeentekrediet, 1985 (p. 176-179)
Return to Nature : J.F. Millet, the Barbizon Artists and the Renewal of the Rural Tradition (Yamanashi, Prefectural Museum of Art, Sept. 26 - Dec. 6, 1998) / Alexandra R. Murphy, Akiko Mabuchi, Yukiko Oki, Yoko Yano. - Yamanashi : Prefectural Museum of Art, 1998
De vrienden van Scribe : De Europese smaak van een Gents mecenas (tentoonstelling Gent, Museum voor Schone Kunsten, 12 december 1998 - 14 maart 1999) / Monique Tahon-Vanroose, Robert Hoozee. - Gent : Snoeck-Ducaju & Zoon, 1998 ; Antwerpen : Pandora, 1998 (p. 199 (ill.))
Jean-François Millet : Drawn into the Light / Alexandra R. Murphy, Richard Rand, Brian T. Allen. - Williamstown-Massachusetts : Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 1999 ; Pittsburgh : Frick Art and Historical Center, 1999 ; New Haven-Connecticut : Yale University Press, 1999
200 jaar verzamelen : Collectieboek Museum voor Schone Kunsten Gent / Arnout Balis, Robert Hoozee, Maximiliaan P.J. Martens, Paul Van Haute. - Gent : Ludion, 2000 (p. 270 (ill. 84))
Museum voor Schone Kunsten Gent : Catalogus schilderkunst ; Deel I: 14de - 18de eeuw ; Deel II: 19de - 20ste eeuw / Robert Hoozee, Johan De Smet, Bruno Fornari, Ruth Monteyne. - Gent : Museum voor Schone Kunsten Gent, 2007 (dl. II, p. 240-241 (ill.))
Museum voor Schone Kunsten Gent : De collectie (tentoonstelling vanaf 21 maart 2021) / Johan De Smet, Bart Ooghe, Frederica Van Dam, Lieven Van Den Abeele, Cathérine Verleysen. - Gent : Museum voor Schone Kunsten Gent, 2021
Musée des Beaux-Arts de Gand : La Collection (exposition dès le 21 mars 2021) / Johan De Smet, Bart Ooghe, Frederica Van Dam, Lieven Van Den Abeele, Cathérine Verleysen. - Gand : Musée des Beaux-Arts de Gand, 2021
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