GRECO, El
(b. 1541, Candia, d. 1614, Toledo)

The Holy Family with St Mary Magdalen

1595-1600
Oil on canvas, 132 x 100 cm
Museum of Art, Cleveland

This composition of the Holy Family with St Mary Magdalen was repeated many times by El Greco's workshop and imitators. In the painting, pervaded by a warm domesticity, we can find an anecdotal approach to a religious theme: St Joseph offers the Virgin a bowl of fruit from which she has selected two pieces to give to the Christ Child. This still-life detail of the clear glass bowl with fruit is the most striking feature of the picture.

It is supposed that the head of Mary is a portrait of Doña Jerónima de las Cuevas while that of St Joseph is a self-portrait of the artist.




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