A Family Saying Grace Before a Meal, by Anthonius Claeissins (1538 – 1613), c.1585

A 16th century family portrait

This painting is an early example of the Christian family portrait. Similar images became a very frequent theme in paintings produced in the Low Countries (Holland and Belgium) in the 16th century. 

Images from the Bible, derived from Psalms 1 and 128, can be found in the background.  To the left through the open window there is a tree by a river, this symbolises a good family man.  Also, the vine growing against a wall is symbolic of a fertile housewife. 

To find out more about the painting, see the ‘Shakespeare’s World in 100 objects’ blog: 

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