REMBRANDT Harmenszoon van Rijn
(b. 1606, Leiden, d. 1669, Amsterdam)

The Holy Family with Angels

Oil on canvas, 117 x 91 cm
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg

Catalogue number: Bredius 570.

The Holy Family and other representations of the childhood of Christ occur frequently in Rembrandt's art during the 1640s. Domestic happiness and intimacy are their dominate mood.

This representation at the Hermitage glows with human warmth; small details contribute to this effect. A burst of divine light accompanies the angels who invade the chamber to witness the scene from the everyday life of the Holy Family. The tenderness of the young mother's movement accords with the deep, warm colours, among which the cherry-red of her skirt is the strongest accent.

Suggested listening (streaming mp3, 4 minutes):
César Franck: Panis angelicus