Pieter Aertsen 1507/08 – 1575

Christ in the House of Martha and Mary (Rotterdam)

oil on canvas (200 × 126 cm) — 1553 Museum Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam

Pieter Aertsen biography

This work is linked to Luke 10:40

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In the background a small group listens quietly to Jesus. The kitchen in the foreground is buzzing with activity. All sorts of food are on the tables.

Pieter Aertsen used the contrast between the spiritual and the earthly to illustrate the story of Jesus' visit to Martha and Mary. Mary was listening to Jesus, leaving it to Martha to labour in the kitchen. Yet Jesus says that Mary made the right choice.

In 1552 Aertsen used the story of Martha and Mary in this still-life.

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