Inventory number
P01640
Author
Rubens, Peter Paul
Title
Rest on the Flight into Egypt, with Saints
Chronology
1632 - 1635
Technique
Oil
Support
Panel
Dimensions
87 cm x 125 cm
School
flemish
Theme
Religion
On display
Yes
Provenance
Colección Real (Real Alcázar [?], Madrid, Galeria del Mediodia, 1686, s.n.; Real Alcázar, Pinturas colgadas en el mismo quarto bajo en el Obrador de los Pintores de Camara, 1701-1703, nº 574; Palacio del Buen Retiro, Madrid, Pinturas entregadas en dhas. Casas Arzobispales a Dn. Santiago de Bonabia, 1747, nº 914;Palacio Real Nuevo, Madrid, Antecámara de la Serenísima Infanta, 1772, nº 440; Palacio Real Nuevo, pieza de vestir [2ª], 1794, nº 240; Palacio Real, primer gabinete entrando por la pieza de vestir, 1814-1818, nº 240).

Rubens combines various subjects in this work. The figure of Saint Joseph sleeping in a landscape alongside a grazing donkey, and the Virgin Mary sitting on a boulder with her son refer to the rest on the Flight from Egypt, but the artist also added various images of saints to the left of the main group. These include Saint George and the dragon, and Saint Catherine, whose factions are those of Hélène Fourment, the painter's second wife. Her pose is quite similar to the one in The Garden of Love (P01690). On the right, some angels play with a lamb, symbolizing the sacrifice of Christ, while another angel hushes them in the presence of the Christ Child.

The idyllic sense of the scene and its setting in a garden space relates the work to the artist's mature phase. The use of Italian architecture and the affected poses of some of the figures are also characteristic of that last period.

This is probably the painting that appears in the collection of the Marquis of El Carpio in 1688 and later passed to Carlos II. It has been listed in the Royal Collection since 1700.

 
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