This charming scene is of the childhood of Christ in Nazareth, showing the Holy Family together in the workshop of St Joseph. Christ, who was later known as “the carpenter” or “the carpenter’s son”, is depicted learning his woodworking trade from St Joseph, while holding a try square (Matthew 13:55; Mark 6:3). The Virgin Mary is shown working wool on a spindle.
Although it is a favourite subject in art, little is known of the childhood of Christ. All we know is that he grew up in Nazareth, living in obedience to his parents. This window, found in a side chapel of the church of St Peter the Apostle in Woolwich, is by the Gothic Revivalist Nathaniel Westlake and dates to 1909. It forms part of a larger window illustrating various scenes from the life of St Joseph.
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Where to find this work of art
St Peter the Apostle, Woolwich
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