December 26, 2017
Giuseppe Mazzola (1748-1838) (attr.), Holy Family (Adoration), c.1829, oil on panel, 37 x 29 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, gift of Stanford C. Stoddard in memory of his late wife, Ann Dietrich Stoddard, 2004.
Surrounded by the beauties of a pastoral setting, Mary, Joseph, and Jesus—the Holy Family—are gathered together with a young John the Baptist, his mother Elizabeth, and two adoring angels. Mary sits in the center, dressed in a blue mantle and red gown, symbolic of her role as Queen of Heaven. She points to the baby Jesus while John lovingly touches His arm. John is clothed in animal skins and holds a reed cross encircled with a banner that reads Ecce Agnus Dei (“Behold the Lamb of God”), his own future words bearing testimony of Christ. The serenity of the scene suggests the harmonious joining of heaven and earth through the advent of the Savior.