The Holy Family

Hans von Aachen (1552-1615) was a German painter most remembered for his portraits and work for Rudolph II, Holy Roman Emperor. Aachen appears to have painted a number of variations on this theme. This particular painting of The Holy Family is in the Hermitage in Russia and is believed to date to sometime between 1588 and 1590. It is an oil on panel wood that measures 56.2 by 42.2cm and features Jesus, the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph with an angel presenting flowers to the family. I suspect that these Holy Family paintings were commissioned more as portraits than as pieces to be displayed in chapels, churches or cathedrals. The table with the bowl of fruit reminds me of the work of the Dutch Golden Age painters that would follow almost 100 years after Hans von Aachen was born.

To learn more about Aachen and see more examples of his work, please visit our Hans von Aachen biography.