Rest on the Flight into Egypt – El descanso en la huida a Egipto


Rest on the Flight into Egypt
El descanso en la huida a Egipto

c. 1700
Oil on canvas
64.5 x 44.5 inches
70 x 50.5 inches framed

Private Collection, Albuquerque, NM

The flight into Egypt is a biblical event described in the Gospel of Matthew (Matthew 2:13-23), in which Joseph fled to Egypt with Mary and infant son Jesus after a visit by the Magi, because they learned that King Herod intended to kill the infants of that area. The episode is frequently shown in art, as the final episode of the Nativity of Jesus in art, and was a common component in cycles of the Life of the Virgin as well as the Life of Christ.

According to the legend, Joseph and Mary paused on the flight in a grove of trees; the Holy Child ordered the trees to bend down so that Joseph could take fruit from them, and then ordered a spring of water to gush forth from the roots so that his parents could quench their thirst. The incident was made popular in the 16th century by Caravaggio and other European painters. This version depicts a joyous scene in which the Holy Family rests in a lush, pastoral landscape, visited by cherubs, two of which play music in a fruit-laden tree. Mother and smiling Child greet the cherubs while Joseph gazes toward heaven.