Rest on the Flight into Egypt (El Descanso en la huida a Egipto)
c. 1700
64.5" x 44.5"
Framed: 70" x 50.5"
Painting, Oil on canvas
The Biblical subject of the flight of Joseph and the Virgin Mary with the infant Christ into Egypt can be traced back to the apocryphal Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew who elaborated on this legend and provided a great many details. There is the addition of angels who amuse Christ with their noisy and merry dances. This is a motif which entered painting at the end of the 15th century. While giving the scene an earthly, secular character, the artist enriched it with a number of allegorical elements. The apple-tree beneath which the Holy Family is seated symbolize Mary's overcoming the original sin, while the roses that can be seen below the tree are an attribute of the Madonna and embody love, beauty and joy.