Christ in the House of Martha and Mary (Vermeer)

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Christ in the House of Martha and Mary
Johannes (Jan) Vermeer - Christ in the House of Martha and Mary - Google Art Project.jpg
Artist Johannes Vermeer
Year 1655
Type Oil on canvas
Dimensions 160 cm × 142 cm (63 in × 56 in)
Location Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh

Christ in the House of Martha and Mary is a painting finished in 1655 by the Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer. It is housed in the National Gallery of Scotland in Edinburgh. It is the largest painting by Vermeer and one of the very few with an overt religious motive. The story of Christ visiting the household of the two sisters Mary and Martha goes back to the New Testament.[1] The work has also been called Christ in the House of Mary and Martha (reversing the last two names).[2]

Painting materials[edit]

The pigment analysis of this painting[3] reveals the use of the pigments of the baroque period such as madder lake, yellow ochre, vermilion and lead white. Interestingly enough Vermeer did not paint the robe of Christ with his usual blue pigment of choice ultramarine (see for example "The Milkmaid") but with a mixture of smalt, indigo and lead white.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Luke 10:38-42 Bible New International Version (NIV)
  2. ^ Liedtke, Walter; Michiel C. Plomp and Axel Ruger (2001). Vermeer and the Delft School, New Haven and London: Yale University Press. p 363 and throughout. ISBN 0-87099-973-7. 0870999737
  3. ^ Kühn, Hermann (1968). "A Study of the Pigments and Grounds Used by Jan Vermeer". Reports and Studies in the History of Art: 154–202. 
  4. ^ Johannes Vermeer, 'Christ in the House of Martha and Mary', Colourlex

External links[edit]