Portrait Of Family

It feels natural to live together: we are family.

The most basic group sharing a common destiny goes naturally with the word ‘us.’

‘Love’ is an underlying element throughout.

Cry, laugh, and share daily life together… and love becomes more sticky.

It is not difficult to find portraits of family from classic paintings.

Portraits of many families, in fact, remain as historical evidence.

Of course, you can guess easily that there are countless famous paintings of the ‘Holy Family,’ St. Mary and Jesus.

However, we are more naturally drawn to portraits of ordinary families living everyday life than the paintings of the Holy Family from the artist’s imagination.

That’s why La famille de l’artiste (The Family of Artists) depicted with a simple drawing catches our eyes and hearts more than any other famous paintings.

Portrait Of Family

La famille de l’artiste, Louise Gauffier, 18c


And, this is a scene that only family can inspire.

This family that looks like one lump depicts their affection and cohesion through their body movement and as one unit even though faces of each member cannot be seen fully.

It seems to tell us that ‘family is family when members are one.’

Portrait Of Family

La Famile, Victor Prouve


Most of all, a rite that ties the family together as one, is ‘meal time.’

Traditionally, with ingredients that the father buys with the money he earns, the mother sincerely prepares the table.

The family members gather at one place, talk about how their day has been and share their love of the father and mother with gratitude.

Children who grow up with such love always live in the world with a rich mind.

That’s why a simple table is better than a table suitable for a king if the whole family is together.

Portrait Of Family

A Peasant Family at meal-time, Jan Havicksz Steen, 1665


Here, grandchildren, who have gathered at a party for the grandmother, wish for her well being before having their meal.

The face of the grandmother cannot be seen clearly but the faces of the children are illuminated softly by the table lights and are the main focus for this painting.

It is a reverent but warm dinner.

The children learn etiquette at the table and learn to care for each other and to share their hearts.

A harmonious family always has abundant foods and never-ending laughter.

Portrait Of Family

Bénédicité, fête de grand-mère, John Henry Lorimer , 19c


The moment we see this most pleasant portrait of a family in the world, our mind becomes joyful.

Whether they are having a meal or singing songs in the painting, we can appreciate it using our five-sense imagination.

Portrait Of Family

The mercy family, Jan Havicksz Steen, 1668


Upon looking at this pleasant family, you might feel that you are about to hear a noisy chatter, dog barking, dishes clinking, sounds of instruments playing songs, and sounds of babies bursting with laughter.

They seem to be in a joy of their own but they truly enjoy being together: it is a real portrait of family.

And, the warm light illuminating the room through the open window shines on the mother cuddling a baby.

It seems to tell us that the center of the family is the mother and their love begins from that center.

Happiness that begins from a family unit spreads and becomes happiness in the whole world.

Let’s remember that it is a real family indeed when the ‘mind’ based on love and faith becomes one.

If people care for one another with the mind of oneness and become a member of the world with the mind of oneness, that would be a portrait of the perfect family.

Furthermore, if we go beyond the concept of a small unit and see from the perspective of the whole universe, we will be able to treat everything around us preciously like ‘ourselves’ when realizing that everything in the universe exists as oneness– as one family.