Diego Velazquez was a big fan of biblical subjects, but depicted them, like his other paintings in his own way, in the same manner of writing. The painting “Christ in the House of Martha and Mary” was created after long months of painstaking work in 1618 and was Velasquez's own interpretation of one of the stories recorded in the Gospel of Luke and telling about Jesus coming to the house of two sisters - Martha and Mary.
The plot of this story is as follows: Martha and Mary are unmarried sisters living in the same house that Christ himself once visited. At the sight of a guest, Martha rushed to cook a meal and scurry around the house, while Mary sat at the feet of the Son of God and began to speak with him.
In response to such actions, Martha's sister, tired and angry, complained to Christ about her, to which she received an answer that she had not expected. Christ praised Mary, and told her, so caring and hardworking, that one should think not of the material, but of the spiritual. Velazquez was perfectly able to convey this moment of discontent of Martha and the meekness of Mary.
In the foreground of the picture are two women - an elderly and a young one. In the hands of a young mortar in which she cooks some herbs - this is Maria. The second person is preoccupied and angry, she angrily points the young to work, apparently ordering her to do it. On the table is a bowl of fish - the fish, as you know, symbolizes Christ. In addition to fish, the artist also depicts a plate with eggs and a jug - the food that Martha prepared for Christ and his companions.
A picture hangs on the wall of the room, depicting the scene of the meeting of Christ and the sisters. Christ is sitting in an armchair, the girl Mary is sitting at his feet, and Martha is standing behind her, the tension in her form betrays that she constantly thinks about something and, as the biblical story goes, cannot focus on what Christ says.