The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
The Holy Family with Saint Elizabeth and Saint John the Baptist
  • Peter Paul Rubens (1577 - 1640)
  • The Holy Family with Saint Elizabeth and Saint John the Baptist
  • Southern Netherlands
  • 1614 - 1615
  • Painting
  • Oil on oak panel
  • Image size: 136 x 100 cm
    Made up to, Object size: 165 x 130 x 11 cm
  • P81
  • Great Gallery
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • The painting, a relatively early work by Rubens, was executed for the Archduke Albert, the Governor of the Spanish Netherlands, and hung in his private oratory at the Ducal Palace in Brussels. Rubens was paid 300 guilders for the picture in 1615. The subject is taken from the Meditations on the Life of Christ, a popular source for seventeenth-century Catholic artists. In this picture, the infant Saint John the Baptist is identified by the animal skin which he was later to wear while preaching in the desert.
    During the eighteenth century the painting belonged to the Austrian Emperor, Joseph II. It was purchased by the 4th Marquess of Hertford in 1846 for the enormous sum of 2,660 guineas, indicating the high regard in which Rubens’ history and religious paintings were held during the nineteenth century.