Object Image

The Holy Family (Christ in the Lap of Truth)

Although he rejected institutionalized religion, Blake was intensely spiritual, and much of his art was inspired by a highly personal reading of the Bible or by literature based upon it, such as John Milton's Paradise Lost (1667). The Virgin Mary is centered in this highly stylized composition. Upon her lap she clasps the infant Christ whose outstretched arms foreshadow the Crucifixion. The Mother and Child are flanked by Saint Joseph on the left, and Saint Anne (the Virgin's mother), on the right. Below, Saint John the Baptist, who foretold Christ's death and resurrection, plays with a lamb.

Credit: John L. Severance Fund...

c. 1805
Black, gray, and brown ink applied with pen and point of brush; gray, pink, yellow, and green wash
37.9 x 32.5cm
1950.239
Image and text: The Cleveland Museum of Art, 2023

Where you'll find this

The Cleveland Museum of Art
Permanent collection