The Rest on the Flight to Egypt (c. 1510) by Gerard David

The Rest on the Flight to Egypt - Gerard David - c.1510

Artwork Information

TitleThe Rest on the Flight to Egypt
ArtistGerard David
MediumOil on Panel
Dimensions42 x 42 cm
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance

About The Rest on the Flight to Egypt

“The Rest on the Flight to Egypt” is an oil on panel artwork by Gerard David, dated to around 1510. This work, measuring 42 by 42 centimeters, belongs to the Northern Renaissance art movement and is classified within the genre of religious painting. In the artwork, the central focus is on two figures that are depicted against a serene landscape backdrop.

The artwork portrays the Virgin Mary seated on a rock with the Christ Child on her lap. She is cloaked in a sumptuous blue robe with a delicate drape that envelops her figure, suggesting both a sense of motherly protection and celestial significance. The infant Jesus, attention captured by something in his hands, exhibits a natural interaction with his mother, indicative of the tender bond between mother and child. To the left, a donkey, presumably the one that transported them on their journey, stands patiently, further augmenting the narrative of the flight.

The background presents a detailed and lush landscape, a characteristic of Northern Renaissance paintings, where nature is rendered with meticulous attention to detail. In the distance, one can observe a figure carrying a bundle over a bridge, perhaps alluding to Joseph, who is traditionally part of this biblical story, although focusing on everyday tasks. This element, along with the peaceful environment, imbues the scene with a sense of mundane calm that contrasts with the miraculous nature of the subjects.

The inclusion of a river and vegetation, as well as the distant cityscapes, contribute to a vivid setting that conveys a sense of depth and the passage through different terrains. The artist’s highly detailed work on the landscape indicates the Northern Renaissance’s fascination with the natural world and its desire to reflect the beauty of creation within a religious context.

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