The Little Household

“The Holy Family with an Angel Preparing Gruel.” A transcendent presence is conveyed through an ordinary family scene between the flame of the fireplace and the view unto paradise. At the vertex of the composition is Joseph, head of the Holy Family. As an ordinary father, he holds a swaddling cloth to dry near the heat. His calves are strong and his shoulders broad. His peaceful face looks toward the child with a gentle smile of contentment. He remains in the shadows, compared to Jesus and Mary. In his role as father, he is positioned protectively above Jesus.