The holy family
The restrained scene of the 'holy family' is signed and dated 1509. The family is depicted as an everyday family; Mary and the Christ child are shown in a warm, deep relationship. What is remarkable is the presence of Joseph, who is not, as customary, shown as a figure in the background. He looks at the spectator and is shown on equal footing with Mary and her child. This is also important in the composition: the dark, bearded face of Joseph contasts with the pale, veiled face of Mary. The small size suggests that this was intended as a devotion piece for private use.