“The Holy Open Air Family,” Hans Baldung – overview of the painting

“The Holy Open Air Family,” Hans Baldung – overview of the painting
“The Holy Open Air Family,” Hans Baldung - overview of the painting - 1

  • Posted by Hans Baldung
  • Museum: German National Museum, Nuremberg
  • Year: 1511-1514

Overview of the painting :

The holy open-air family is Hans Baldung. 1511-1514. Wooden panel, oil. 38.8 x 48.7 cm

   The artist managed to turn a rather critical moment of biblical history into a charming, contemporary genre picture. Instead of the tragic salvation from beating babies, Herodom obtained a cute family picnic in the lap of nature (The flight of the holy family to Egypt).

   The characters instead of the Sinai desert are in a green, cozy place, well located under the canopy of a sprawling tree. On it, frightened birds make nests, pouring singing. In the distance you can see the sharp peaks of the high mountains, drowning in a bluish haze, covered with snow. And at their base you can see a typical medieval castle with sharp spiers and loopholes, standing on a steep cliff. In the distance you can see the tall thin spire of another castle.

   Virgin Mary appears before us in the guise of a chubby blonde girl with a thin smile playing with her blond baby. On it is a rich outfit – a red satin dress with a dark green velvet top, decorated with a narrow sharpener of light fur. A magnificent skirt forms large decorative folds that effectively draper at the feet of a seated madonna.

   Baby Jesus is naked, his tender body covers only a thin silk diaper. His mother’s lush reddish-golden curls flutter in the wind, creating the complete illusion of the audience’s presence on this holiday of life.

   Behind the back of the Virgin Mary, behind the tree under which she sits, is depicted St. Joseph. He is also dressed in rich red robes, but his posture is not entirely clear. It seems that he is holding the edge of some shining golden color, under which is some strange world with rectangular stones resembling tombstones. There is also a baby, almost completely hidden by the hill and folds of the Madonna dress.