THE HOLY FAMILY WITH A BIRD
The Holy Family with a Bird was painted by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1617-1682), Baroque painter from Seville. This painting was one of his most important paintings. It was painted around 1650. The Holy Family with a Bird is nowadays in El Prado Museum in Madrid, and Murillo used an oil technique over canvas to paint it. The painting’s size is 144 x 188 cm and it belongs to the Baroque style.
Bartolomé Esteban Murillo
The painting's name comes from the little bird Jesus is showing to the dog and it represents the Holy Family as a normal family. The child, Jesus, who is the most important figure of the painting, is playing with a bird and a dog, it seems that he is happy. As he is the most important figure, he is painted in brighter colours. On the left, we can see his mother, the Virgin Mary, who has stopped working to look at his son, and on the right his father, Saint Joseph, who is also looking at him. As you can see, the painting represents movement (the child playing, the dog…), colour is predominant over drawing and the colours are dark. The scene seems peaceful and calm. As you can see, the light that illuminates the picture enters from the left side, and it only illuminates the figures, the background is really dark and doesn’t allow to see that the house is simple and humble. The figures of this painting are very realistic and perfect.
We can observe that this painting is from the Baroque period because the painter uses contrasts in colours, this technique, known as “Chiaroscuro”, was usually used in the Baroque paintings, to make them more realistic and perfect. Murillo uses other techniques in this painting, mentioned above.
One curiosity is that Saint Joseph didn’t have much importance in art, it was thought that he didn't educated Jesus well, but with the Counter-Reformation the devotion to him grew considerably. This devotion was promoted by some religious institutions that inspired it since the 16th century. In this work, Murillo stands out Saint Joseph’s value as a worker person and represents him as an ideal father.
Sources I used to make this project:
In both projects, I've used Wordreference to search the words I didn't know.