The House in Nazareth

The House in Nazareth is a 1630 oil on canvas painting by Francisco de Zurbarán, now in the Cleveland Museum of Art.[1] He also produced other variants on the same theme using a similar composition.

Christ and the Virgin in the House at Nazareth
Francisco de Zurbarán - Christ and the Virgin in the House at Nazareth - 1960.117 - Cleveland Museum of Art.tif
Dimensions165 cm (65 in) × 218.2 cm (85.9 in)

It shows Jesus as a child to the left knitting a small crown of thorns, one of which has pricked his finger, with the Virgin Mary to the right with a vase of lilies and roses referring to the virgin birth.[2] Neither figure has a halo, though some cherubs' heads appear in a burst of heavenly glory at the top left of the painting. The white cloths around the room symbolise Christ and Mary's purity, the pigeons represent the human soul (whose resurrection Jesus' future Passion will bring) and a pot of water at Jesus' feet alludes to baptism. On the table are open books (suggesting the prophecies of the Messiah in the Hebrew Bible) and pears (symbolising Christ's love for humanity and salvation).[3]


  1. ^ "Artehistoria entry". Archived from the original on 2008-02-02.
  2. ^ Baticle, Jeannine; Bottineau, Yves (1987). Zurbarán. Metropolitan Museum of Art. ISBN 978-0-87099-502-6.
  3. ^ Harris, Ann Sutherland (2005). Seventeenth-century Art and Architecture. Laurence King Publishing. ISBN 978-1-85669-415-5.

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