Anonymous: A portrait of a family (1627)

(Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

A rather stiff portrait of a Protestant family from the Northern Netherlands. Name of the family and artist is unknown. The branch of vine in the background is a reference to Psalm 128 ("Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house") and is a symbol of the fertility of the mother. Notice also the small child to the right which is holding a branch with cherries - these were seen as 'the fruit of Paradise' and is a symbol of the purity and innocence of the child, a common symbol for children on portraits (including portraits of the Child Jesus). Painting from 1627.