BLOOT, Pieter de
(b. 1601, Rotterdam, d. 1658, Rotterdam)

Christ in the House of Mary and Martha

Oil on panel, 47 x 66 cm
Liechtenstein Museum, Vienna

Christ's visit to the house of Martha and Mary, taken from St Luke's Gospel, formed the basis of several representations from the mid-16th century onwards. In the religious context of the time, this scene illustrated one of the fundamental differences opposing Catholics and Protestants. The latter sought salvation in action whilst the former placed greater value on the contemplative life. In his painting Pieter de Bloot combined the religious scene in the background with a kitchen still-life in the foreground, following the tradition established in the sixteenth century by Pieter Aertsen and his nephew and pupil Joachim Beuckelaer.