Holy Family


Holy Family
a representation in art of Mary, Joseph, and the infant Jesus.

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art
 as a theme in Christian (Christianity) art, representation of the infant Jesus (Jesus Christ) with his immediate family. There are two major versions, one showing the Virgin and Child with St. Joseph (Joseph, Saint) and the other showing the Virgin and Child with the Virgin's mother, St. Anne (Anne and Joachim, Saints). Like a number of other themes dealing with the lives of Christ and the Virgin, the Holy Family gained importance at the end of the Middle Ages as an inspiration to popular piety through contemplation of the emotional aspects of the Gospel story. It was most frequently depicted in painting and, especially in the Renaissance, was a favourite subject for altarpieces.

 The Holy Family with St. Anne was the version most popular in Germany, where it first appeared in the 14th century and was widely represented in the 15th; in the 15th and 16th centuries it was also frequently depicted in Italy and Spain. It has two forms: St. Anne holding both Virgin and Child on her lap and the Child seated on the ground between the two women. In addition to its sentimental significance, the Holy Family with St. Anne also dramatized the recently formulated doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, which held that Mary was, from the first instant of her conception by her mother, free from original sin.

 The Holy Family with St. Joseph, which grew out of the intimate Western version of the theme of the Nativity (q.v.), was current in all areas of western Europe from the 14th through the 17th century. In the 16th and 17th centuries it was often augmented by the figures of the infant St. John the Baptist (John the Baptist, Saint) and his mother, Elizabeth, the Virgin's cousin. The simpler version of the Holy Family with St. Joseph, however, was particularly important in the art of Roman Catholic countries from the late 16th century on, since it illustrated the Counter-Reformation concept of the “terrestrial Trinity,” which held that Joseph, Jesus, and Mary were an earthly reflection of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In France, Spain, and Flanders in the 17th century the theme of the “two trinities”—combining both groups, earthly and celestial, in one work—was frequently represented.
 

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Holy family — Holy Ho ly, a. [Compar. {Holier}; superl. {Holiest}.] [OE. holi, hali, AS. h[=a]lig, fr. h[ae]l health, salvation, happiness, fr. h[=a]l whole, well; akin to OS. h?lag, D. & G. heilig, OHG. heilac, Dan. hellig, Sw. helig, Icel. heilagr. See… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Holy Family — n the Holy Family Jesus, his mother Mary, and her husband Joseph …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Holy Family — The Holy Family consists of the Child Jesus, the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph.Feast of the Holy Family in honour of Jesus of Nazareth, his mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and his foster father, Saint Joseph, as a family.The feast of the Holy… …   Wikipedia

  • holy family — noun Usage: usually capitalized H&F : a painting or piece of sculpture in which the infant Jesus and the Virgin are represented attended by sacred personages (as St. Joseph, the infant St. John Baptist, St. Elisabeth, and St. Anne or angels or… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Holy Family —    L Devotion to, encouraged by Laval, 86; commended by Leo XIII, 86 …   The makers of Canada

  • Holy Family —  Святое Семейство …   Вестминстерский словарь теологических терминов

  • Holy Family — /hoʊli ˈfæmli/ (say hohlee famlee) noun Christianity Jesus Christ, his mother Mary and her husband Joseph …   Australian English dictionary

  • Holy Family Catholic Church (Glendale, California) — Holy Family Catholic Church is a Catholic parish located on Elk Avenue in Glendale, California that consists of a Catholic church, an elementary school and an all girls high school. Founded in 1907, it is the oldest parish in Glendale.Parish… …   Wikipedia

  • Holy family (disambiguation) — Holy Family is a Christian term for Jesus, the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph. Contents 1 Artwork 2 Religious buildings 3 Educational in …   Wikipedia

  • Holy Family Catholic Schools — (HFCS) is a Roman Catholic school system based in Dubuque, Iowa (USA). Holy Family, which operates schools in eastern Dubuque County, is a part of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Dubuque. As of the 2007 2008 school year, HCFS has 1,859 students …   Wikipedia


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