- Reference number
- Patinir, Joachim
- Rest on the Flight into Egypt
- 1518 - 1520
- 121 cm x 177 cm
- On display
- Royal Collection
Mary nurses the Christ Child in the foreground. The bundle, basket and pitcher at her feet allude to the Holy Family's pilgrimage from Egypt. Saint Joseph appears on the left with a jug of milk. Episodes related to the flight are depicted in different parts of the landscape: the slaughter of the innocents, the miracle of the wheat field and the destruction of the idols of Heliopolis.
The idea of combining the devotional image of the Virgin and Child, in the foreground, with the flight from Egypt comes from earlier Flemish masters such as Gerard David.
The landscape, broadly developed by raising the line of the horizon, shows Patinir's hand, although it lacks his customary crags. The painter conceives the composition as a succession of horizontal planes, terraced in depth. Together with the verticality of the trees, those planes give the work a feeling of serenity and calm that is greater than in most of Patinir's works.
Considered a work from the artist's mature period, it belonged to Felipe II, who sent it to El Escorial in 1593.