Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Christ and the Madonna at Home in Nazareth




When I was browsing through 30,000 Years of Art, I came across this powerful image by Francisco de Zurbaran of Spain. It was the first time I can recall seeing this painting, "Christ and the Madonna at Home in Nazareth," which was created during the Counter-Reformation period (approx. 1638). It portrays a peaceful moment in their home, but points to the painful suffering to come. Mary takes a break from her sewing to look over at her son. Her eyes are swollen from crying. The young Jesus is working on a crown of thorns (foreshadowing his future suffering) and has pricked his finger while angels look on. It raises the question of just how much they knew of what was to come and how much Mary worried about that "sword that would pierce her heart." It illustrates the weight on the shoulders of a human woman raising a divine son.

2 comments:

Scott Stafstrom said...

Thank you for finding this painting. I posted a link to your blog on twitter @catholicart so that others can be inspired by it as well.

I have been working on a painting I call "The Life of Jesus". It is a symbolic journey using nature and traditional objects (no figures). I am praying that it will be an inspiration that leads the viewer closer to Christ. The painting you posted confirmed some of the symbols I had chosen and did provoke a moment of reflection on this period of the life of Jesus. Thank you again.

Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur said...

Hi Scott,

Thanks so much for visiting my site and for the link. I am an artist myself and would love to see your painting when it is done.

Best wishes,
Patrice