DÜRER, Albrecht
(b. 1471, Nürnberg, d. 1528, Nürnberg)

The Holy Family

Drypoint, 210 x 181 mm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

This drawing belongs to a group of paintings, drawings, and prints from the second decade of the sixteenth century, in which Dürer considered the theme of the Virgin and Child. Dürer favoured a particular pose for the Virgin - often looking down lovingly upon her child, with tilted head and heavy hidden eyes. The Child's pudgy arms and legs emerge animatedly from his stocky torso, as Dürer convincingly captures the essence of a squirming baby.

This drypoint presents the subject with anachronistically including Mary Magdalen, John the Evangelist, and Nicodemus as observers of the young Holy Family.