Nicolas Poussin (French, 1594-1665)
Framed - h:103.50 w:135.25 d:13.33 cm (h:40 11/16 w:53 3/16 d:5 3/16 inches)
Unframed - h:73.30 w:105.80 cm (h:28 13/16 w:41 5/8 inches)
Former - h:72.30 w:104.00 cm (h:28 7/16 w:40 15/16 inches)
Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund
The simplicity of this composition is deceptive; it is a complex meditation on the Holy Family’s role in the redemption of humanity. At the center, Mary presents the Christ child to the world. At the left, Saint Elizabeth leans forward to foretell his eventual death, while her son, Saint John the Baptist, offers Jesus an apple, signifying humanity’s fall from grace in the garden of Eden. Saint Joseph, at the right, received new emphasis in the 1600s as an important model for men-especially fathers. His compass, a sign of his occupation as a carpenter, also symbolizes God the Father.