The Rest on the Flight into Egypt | MSK Gent
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The Rest on the Flight into Egypt, ca. 1655 - ca. 1660

  • oil paint, canvas
  • 217.5 x 175 cm
  • Inv. 1914-CQ

Public Domain

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The Rest during the Flight into Egypt was executed between 1655 and 1660 and is one of Jacques Jordaens’ later works. The theme was already popular in the late Middle Ages. Influenced by the Jesuits and the Counter Reformation, a new dimension was added to the traditional representation, as is evident in Jacques Jordaens’ painting. Cherubs dart through the air above the heads of Mary, Joseph and Jesus. One of them offers Jesus an apple, referring to his future role as the Redeemer of original sin. Another cherub holds a laurel wreath over Joseph’s head. In this way the Holy Family represents an ‘earthly trinity’. Joseph’s attribute is the flowering staff he holds in his hand. God commanded a dry stick to flower, indicating that Joseph had been chosen to be Mary’s husband. The increasing significance of Joseph dates back to the sixteenth century. In the gospels of Matthew and Luke all we are told about Joseph is that he was a carpenter by profession. Representations of Joseph as an old man derive from popular belief and apocryphal texts. Here too we see him as a tired old man who is full of concern about the fate of the Mother and Child.


Jacob Jordaens RKD VIAF Wikidata
Antwerp 1593 - Antwerp 1678
painters (artists)AAT

Title The Rest on the Flight into Egypt
Date ca. 1655 - ca. 1660
Period 17th century
Collection paintings AAT
Object type oil paintings (visual works) AAT
Inventory number 1914-CQ
Acquisition credit bequest
Scribe, Fernand
Current whereabouts Work on display
IIIF Manifest
Art & Architecture Thesaurus 300055874 religious symbolism AAT
Keywords Iconclass 11D Christ Iconclass
11F the Virgin Mary Iconclass
11H(JOSEPH) the foster-father of Christ, Joseph of Nazareth, husband of Mary; possible attributes: flowering rod or wand, lily, carpenter's tools Iconclass
25G21(APPLE) fruits: apple Iconclass
25G3 trees Iconclass
25G4111(+1) garland, wreath (+ plants used symbolically) Iconclass
41D221(HAT) head-gear: hat Iconclass
73 New Testament Iconclass
73B birth and youth of Christ Iconclass
73B65 rest on the flight into Egypt Iconclass
92D1916 cupids: 'amores', 'amoretti', 'putti' Iconclass
School / Style Baroque AAT
Museum voor Schone Kunsten Gent : Catalogus schilderkunst ; Deel I: 14de - 18de eeuw ; Deel II: 19de - 20ste eeuw / Robert Hoozee, Johan De Smet, Bruno Fornari, Ruth Monteyne. - Gent : Museum voor Schone Kunsten Gent, 2007 (dl. I, p. 114-115 (ill.))
Museum voor Schone Kunsten Gent : De collectie (tentoonstelling vanaf 21 maart 2021) / Johan De Smet, Bart Ooghe, Frederica Van Dam, Lieven Van Den Abeele, Cathérine Verleysen. - Gent : Museum voor Schone Kunsten Gent, 2021
Musée des Beaux-Arts de Gand : La Collection (exposition dès le 21 mars 2021) / Johan De Smet, Bart Ooghe, Frederica Van Dam, Lieven Van Den Abeele, Cathérine Verleysen. - Gand : Musée des Beaux-Arts de Gand, 2021
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