"Rest on the Flight into Egypt" by Caravaggio

Located in the Doria Pamphilj Gallery in Rome, Italy, “The Rest on the Flight into Egypt” was painted by Caravaggio around 1597. It was the artist’s first large-scale work and depicts the apocryphal story of the weary Holy Family finding repose in a miraculous oasis as they flee to Egypt. The incredibly tender image of the Virgin Mary (for whom the model was a courtesan name Anna Bianchini) cuddling with the Christ child is offset by the rather cloddish figures of St. Joseph (whose feet suggest he is cold) and the donkey. Separating the groups is a sensuous angel seen from behind who plays a motet on its viola da gamba dedicated to the Virgin Mary which includes the verseQuam pulchra es” (“How beautiful you are”). Buona visione!


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