View and zoom into this image on our new collection website
The Holy Family with the Infant Saint John the Baptist (Vierge de Novar)

Reference URL

The Holy Family with the Infant Saint John the Baptist (Vierge de Novar) About 1518 - 1523


The informal figure group, inspired by a composition of Raphael's, is shown in a courtyard at night. It is just possible to glimpse Joseph with a lamp leading a donkey through the background arch. The animated contact between the two children draws attention to Latin lettering on the scroll, part of St John's description of Christ as 'the Lamb of God'. The precariously balanced figures and the strident, contrasting colours are characteristic of Giulio Romano's mannerism.

Glossary Open


The arrangement of different elements in a work of art.


A style of art that spread from Italy to much of Europe in the 16th century, between the High Renaissance and Baroque periods. There is disagreement among historians as to its nature but it often seen as decadent, rejecting the classical ideals of the Renaissance and characterized by elongated figures.

Composition, Mannerism


  • Acc. No. NG 2398
  • Medium Oil and gold on panel
  • Size 82.50 x 63.20 cm; including fillets of oak attached to each side
  • Credit Purchased with the aid of the National Heritage Purchase Grant (Scotland) 1980