Aertsen, Pieter

Image Christ with Maria and Martha

1552; Oil on wood, 60 x 101.5 cm; GG Inv. No. 6927; Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

Image Another photograph

Spread out in the foreground before the viewer is an abundance of objects, in powerful colours and with careful differentiation of the surfaces, apparently at random and yet in a carefully considered composition. Very earthly preparations have been made for a feast, the object of which is depicted in the background in bright and broken colours, roughly outlined and painted in a manner that is quite different from the still life in the front: the visit of Jesus in the home of Mary and Martha. This is a spiritual world in which Mary is listening attentively to the words of the Lord, while the industrious Martha is scolding Mary for her idleness. But the Lord spoke: Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things. But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. (Luke 10:4142)

A remarkable feature of this painting is the the still-life and a biblical scene composed together. The effect of the compostion was strongly disturbed by cutting the lower part of the painting (about 9cm were cut for unknown reasons).

14 Oct 2002, Nicolas Pioch - Top - Up - Info
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