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The Holy Family with Saint Catherine and Saint Barbara

Photo credit: The Bowes Museum

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In this image of the Holy Family Mary is sewing whilst Joseph is depicted feeding Jesus with the help of an angel. It is unusual to see Joseph in this tender role which stresses the human nature of Christ, requiring sustenance like any other baby. Saint Catherine is depicted on the left with a crown, sword and broken wheel. Catherine was condemned to death on a spiked wheel in Alexandria, Egypt in the fifth century during Roman Emperor Maximus’s persecution of Christians.

The Bowes Museum

Barnard Castle




oil on panel


H 73.7 x W 28.1 cmH 73.7 x W 66.9 cm;
H 73.7 x W 28.1 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

bequeathed by the Founders, 1885

Work type



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Normally on display at

The Bowes Museum

Barnard Castle, County Durham DL12 8NP England

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