The Family of Saint Anne | MSK Gent
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The Family of Saint Anne, ca. 1500 - ca. 1510

  • oil paint, panel
  • 87.4 x 39.2 cm
  • Inv. S-106

Public Domain

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In the central panel we see St Anne seated on a richly decorated throne. According to Christian tradition, Anne was married three times. Her husbands are portrayed to her left and right. Her union with St Joachim produced Mary, Jesus’ mother. Mary sits with her Child at her mother’s feet. Seated on the right is Mary’s husband, Joseph, with a flowering staff in his hand. On the side panels are Anne’s daughters from her two other marriages, together with their husbands and children. The veneration of St Anne reached its climax around 1500, especially in the Netherlands. However, her roots lie far deeper and go back to the pre-Christian fertility cult and the veneration of the Great Mother. The triptych is ascribed to the Master of St Anne and comes from the former Beguinage of St Autbert (Poortakker) in Ghent. The figures are realistically portrayed. However, the use of gold, the flat background with rose bushes and the inscriptions with the names of the saints tend to make the work archaic.


Master of the Family of Saint Anne RKD
Ghent 1500 - 1510
painters (artists)AAT

Title The Family of Saint Anne
Date ca. 1500 - ca. 1510
Period 16th century
Location Ghent TGN
Signatures, inscriptions, and markings inscription above the heads of the figures, from left to right: Maria Salome; Sebedeus; Salome; Joachim; Scta Anna; Cleophas; Alpheus; Maria Cleophe.
inscription: Johannes evangehlus
inscription on the collar of Salome's robe: SIT NOMEN DOMINI BENEDICTUM ECCE HOC
inscription on the right sleeve of Salome's robe: GERARDVS E
inscription on the lower edge of the robe of Alpheus: E SANCTA AME
inscription on the right shoulder of Jacob Minor: Jacob minor
inscription on the right shoulder of Simon: Simon
inscription on the left shoulder: Joseph Jusus
inscription: Judas
Collection paintings AAT
Object type oil paintings (visual works) AAT
Inventory number S-106
Acquisition credit transfer
Current whereabouts Work on display
IIIF Manifest
Art & Architecture Thesaurus 300055874 religious symbolism AAT
Keywords Iconclass 11D Christ Iconclass
11D21 Christ-child (with attributes) Iconclass
11F the Virgin Mary Iconclass
11F726 Christ-child suckling, or beginning to suckle, e.g. Mary uncovering her breast ~ Madonna-representations Iconclass
11H saints Iconclass
11H(ALPHEUS) male saints (ALPHEUS) Iconclass
11H(JAMES THE GREAT)11 the apostle James the Great; possible attributes: book, pilgrim's cloak, hat, shell, staff, and wallet, scroll, sword - male saint as patron, protector, intercessor Iconclass
11H(JAMES THE LESS) the apostle James the Less, first bishop of Jerusalem; possible attributes: book, fuller's club, scroll Iconclass
11H(JOACHIM) the father of Mary, Joachim; possible attributes: book, two doves, lamb, (shepherd's) staff Iconclass
11H(JOHN) the apostle John the Evangelist; possible attributes: book, cauldron, chalice with snake, eagle, palm, scroll 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
11H(JUDE THADDAEUS) the apostle Jude Thaddaeus; possible attributes: book, club, halberd, scroll Iconclass
11H(KLEOPHAS) male saints (KLEOPHAS) Iconclass
11H(SIMON) the apostle Simon Zelotes (or Simon the Canaanite); possible attributes: book, saw, scroll Iconclass
11H(ZEBEDEE) male saints (ZEBEDEE) Iconclass
11HH female saints Iconclass
11HH(ANNA) Anna, mother of Mary; possible attributes: book, Christ-child, lily, Virgin Mary Iconclass
11HH(MARY KLEOPHAS) Mary Kleophas, sister of the Virgin Mary, mother of James the Less ('Maria Jacobi'); possible attributes: jar of ointment Iconclass
11HH(MARY SALOME) Mary Salome, sister of the Virgin and mother of James the Great and John the Evangelist, also one of the midwives; possible attributes: jar of ointment Iconclass
11I73(SALOME) Salome (not in biblical context) Iconclass
22C311 nimbus, halo ~ radiance emanating from persons or things Iconclass
25G41 flowers Iconclass
25G41(ROSE) flowers: rose Iconclass
26A clouds Iconclass
31A311 eyeglasses, spectacles Iconclass
31A534 beard Iconclass
41A635 fenced or walled garden; 'Hortus Conclusus' Iconclass
41D221 head-gear Iconclass
41D221(HAT) head-gear: hat Iconclass
41D221(HEADSCARF) head-gear (HEADSCARF) Iconclass
41D26511 gold-thread embroidery Iconclass
41D2656 belt, girdle, waistband Iconclass
41D266 ornaments, jewels Iconclass
41D2665 brooch, agraffe, clasp Iconclass
41D2666 diadem, tiara Iconclass
41D267 purse, money-bag Iconclass
42A32(+0) feeding a baby (+ variant) Iconclass
49L71 scroll Iconclass
49L8 inscription Iconclass
49LL71 scroll - LL - scroll unfolded Iconclass
49MM32 book - MM - book open Iconclass
49N reading Iconclass
73 New Testament Iconclass
73A2 ancestors and parents of Christ Iconclass
73A22 Holy Kinship Iconclass
73A222 extended representations of 'Anna selbdritt' (Joseph and Joachim, three husbands, three daughters with seven children) Iconclass
School / Style Early Netherlandish AAT
Catalogue du musée de peinture de la ville de Gand, 1900 / Louis Maeterlinck. - Gand : Imprimerie Victor Van Doosselaere, 1900 (nr. 31)
Inventaire archéologique de Gand : Catalogue descriptif et illustré des monuments, oeuvres d'art et documents antérieurs à 1830, publié par la Société d'Histoire et d'Archéologie de Gand. - Gand : N. Heins, 1897-1909 (nr. 568)
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. I, p. 123 (ill.))
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