Cristo nella casa di Marta e Maria (1605)

Allori, Alessandro (1535-1607)

Cristo nella casa di Marta e Maria (Christ in the House of Martha and Mary)
Oil on poplar, 125 x 118 cm
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

Inscribed on the stone at the right side of the well: A.D.M.DC.V. ALEXANDER BRONZINUS ALLORIUS CIV. FLO. DUM PINGEBAT MELIUS LINEAR NON POTUIT

Inscribed on the cartouche in the background: OPTIMAM PARTEM / ELEGIT

On one of his long walks Christ called on the sisters Mary and Martha. When Martha, who was busy serving her guest, complained about her sister who was listening intently to Christ sitting at his feet, he said: “Mary has chosen the better part.” Using a deliberately antiquated painting method full of realistically depicted details, Allori seeks to do full justice to the plain tone of the Gospel as well as the desire of the Counter Reformation for didactic simplicity. (KHM)