- Reference number
- Rubens, Peter Paul (Flemish)
- The Holy Family surrounded by Saints
- Ca. 1630
- 79,5 cm x 64 cm
- On display
- Royal Collection
The Virgin sits with the Christ Child in the midst of grandiose classical architecture. She is surrounded by numerous saints in various positions. Above her, some angels prepare to crown her as Queen of Heaven.
This work was sometimes thought to be a representation of The Mystical Betrothal of Saint Catherine, because of the strong presence of that saint, who is depicted kneeling before the Christ Child.
This is a reduced copy or model for the large altar painting that Isabel Clara Eugenia commissioned Rubens to make for the Augustinians at Antwerp in 1628. Its relationship to the large altar painting explains the low viewpoint and the figures' monumental sense.
Rubens kept this work until his death in 1640. Shortly thereafter, it entered the collection of Felipe IV, who sent it to the Monastery of El Escorial. From there, it entered the Prado Museum in 1839.