Jan Brueghel the Younger - Landscape with the Flight into Egypt
Jan Brueghel the Younger
Landscape with the Flight into Egypt
Oil on copper. 25.5 x 21.5 cm.
This small copper panel sets the biblical story of the flight into Egypt within a rustic and naturalistic landscape. In the foreground we see Mary on the donkey holding the Christ Child in Her arms whilst Joseph walks beside them. Travellers wander blithely along their way, continuing their conversations unaware that they are witnessing a crucial event in the story of salvation as Mary, Joseph, and the baby Jesus quietly leave the scene unnoticed.
The work exudes an atmosphere of peace and calm. The composition is based upon a series of vertical lines and shifting zones of light, shadow, and half-light. The artist's brushwork is soft and careful. With the precision of a miniaturist, Brueghel achieves a delicate and stylised drawing style, the effect of which is accentuated by his use of colour. Although he still utilises the time-honoured compositional scheme of brown, green, and blue planes leading into the distance, he enlivens it with vividly coloured accents. Ertz dates this painting to the 1630s.