The Holy Family outside the Stable

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The Holy Family outside the Stable about 1545
The Virgin Mary is shown breastfeeding the infant Christ outside a stable, as Joseph sits reading close by. This scene is imbued with a domestic charm. A group of three birds occupy the hay loft of the ramshackle stable and go about their own activities, just as the holy trio below are fully absorbed in theirs. The strong ox peering around the stable and the ass within are commonly found in representations of the Nativity. This drawing displays the overall refinement and steady touch that is so typical of Campagnola’s mature drawing style of the mid-1540s.


  • Acc. No. RSA 134
  • Medium Pen and ink on paper
  • Size 35.20 x 27.10 cm
  • Credit David Laing Bequest to the Royal Scottish Academy on loan 1966