Signed and dated I. IOR Fe A° 1652. This painting is a typical example of Jordaens style of painting in the 1650s and 60s with its large number of figures squeezed into the composition. There is no written source for this scene with the holy family in a boat, but possibly it is an interpretation of the rout to and from Egypt when the holy family had to cross both the Red Sea and the river Nile. Jordaens probably associated the scene with salvation, with Christ, the Virgin and St Joseph together with different figures of various characteristics, on route to a safe haven.


  • Title: The Holy Family in a Boat
  • Creator: Jacob Jordaens
  • Creator Lifespan: 1593 - 1678
  • Creator Nationality: Flemish
  • Creator Gender: male
  • Creator Death Place: Antwerp
  • Creator Birth Place: Antwerp
  • Date Created: 1652
  • artist: Jacob Jordaens
  • Tags: Baroque, Antwerp school
  • Provenance: Christina of Sweden (1626-89), Johan Gabriel Stenbock (1640-1705), Maria Elisabet Stenbock (?-1693), Christina Beata Lille (1677-1727), Eva Katerina Sack (1722-56), Magnus Fredrik Brahe (1756-1826), Magnus Brahe (1790-1844)
  • Physical Dimensions: w 2200, h 2540 mm (without frame)
  • Artist info: Jordaens started his artistic training when he was inscribed in the St Luke Guild in Antwerp as a student to his later to be father-in-law Adam van Noort, in 1607. After Jordaens marriage to the eldest daughter of van Noort, Catharina, the bond between the student and his teacher tightened and they worked and lived together for several years. Unlike most of the other prominent artists at the time, Jordaens never made the traditional journey to Italy. This shortcoming, according to his first biographer, Joachim van Sandrart, made him spend a lot of effort to locate the works of Tizian, Caravaggio and others for study purpose or for use in his workshop. Together with Rubens and Van Dyck, Jordaens made the Antwerp school of painting famous in the 17th century, but, although traditionally associated with one another their respective position in society were entirely different.
  • Type: Oil on canvas
  • External Link: http://emuseumplus.lsh.se/eMuseumPlus?service=ExternalInterface&module=collection&objectId=32442&viewType=detailView, Skokloster Castle

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