The Family of Mary Salome

WAG 1230


Jesus’s aunt Mary Salome sits in the centre. Her husband Zebedee is behind. Their sons, Jesus’s cousins and future followers, are also present. St John sits on his mother’s knee while St James is shown on the left. This panel was once part of the same altarpiece as The Holy Family with Angels, on display nearby. Together they show Jesus’s extended family. The works emphasises the power and stability that comes from the women in Jesus’s life. This image shows God crowning Mary as the Queen of Heaven. This event is not described in the Bible but was a popular subject in art. This work was once part of the top of a larger altarpiece. The elaborate decoration on the frame is not fully original. It was probably altered in the 19th century. This is one of the artworks presented by the Liverpool Royal Institution. Liverpool’s economic development grew directly from Britain’s involvement with transatlantic slavery: the kidnapping, enslavement and forced migration of people from West Africa to the Americas and many to the Caribbean. Many members of the Royal Institution made their fortunes directly through the trade or indirectly through the wider economy. This wealth was largely how they were able to bring rare art and treasures, such as this, to the city.