In the heart of a lush, wooded landscape, the Holy Family sits in a clearing with merry putti.
Sitting on the left of the composition, the Virgin Mary holds the Child on her knees; the young Saint John the Baptist, his attribute, the cross, placed at the feet of the Virgin, is kneeling before Jesus and offers him a basket full of peaches and bunches of grapes (symbol of the future passion of Christ). St. Joseph, dressed in a green tunic and a large red cape, leaning on a tree trunk contemplates the scene. On the right a group of cherubs has fun with the lamb of Saint Jean Baptiste, bringing a jovial character to the scene. Another group of angels in the clouds observe the scene with palm branches as a sign of Jesus' future acclaim. In the background, in a luminous opening towards the horizon, enriched with shades of green, a castle is emerging, as well as a hunter and his dog.
The calm magnitude of this bucolic forest opening on the bright distant, is particularly adapted to this sacred scene that can be associated with the episode of Rest during the flight to Egypt.
Filled with gentleness and harmony, this work plunges us into an atmosphere of peace and serenity.
The virtuoso technique of the artist, extremely meticulous is observable in the rendering of vegetation. Foliage and flowers occupy a large part of the space: the grove consists of many trees, branches, the wild rose, thistles, cut flowers and natural. The great mastery of the painter is manifested by the delicacy of the drawing enhanced by the delicacy in the pose of the brushstrokes bringing a multitude of details. The richness of the whole is brought thanks to the choice of the colors, in particular the numerous shades of green. The modeling of cherubs with their bare bodies illuminated by warm colors with subtle shades is particularly successful.
Oil on copper.
Rare and high qualité 17th century ebonised frame.
Dimensions: h. 36, l. 48 cm. With the frame: h. 88 cm, l. 100 cm
Peter von Avont, Flemish painter
Mechelen, 1600 - Antwerp. 1652
Born in Mechelen, he was mentioned in 1620 as a member of the painters' guild of his hometown. He left for Antwerp in 1622, where he was also enrolled in the guild. He has collaborated with many painters, including Jan Brueguel the Younger, David Vinckboons, Lucas van Uden, Jacques Arthois, Lucas Achtschellinck, Vadder Lodewijk, Izaak van Oosten and Jan Wildens.
The painter is known for his paintings with mythological and religious scenes. One of the main features of his work is the group of naked children. In his many versions of the Holy Family, they appear in different roles: baby Jesus, Saint John the Baptist and the angels. They often bring the offerings to the Virgin and Jesus. His characters with warm colors and delicate modeling are often represented in landscapes of great finesse, which he executed himself, but also in collaboration with other artists Antwerp.