Rembrandt

Rembrandt van Rijn, 'Landscape with the Rest on the Flight into Egypt', 1647.

Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669)

Landscape with the Rest on the Flight into Egypt, 1647

Oil on wood panel, 34 x 48 cm
Purchased, 1883
NGI.215

The Bible mentions how King Herod, having been notified that a new 'King of the Jews' had been born, ordered the slaying of all male children in Bethlehem under the age of two. In order to save the Christ Child, an angel came to Joseph in a dream and told him to flee with his family to Egypt (Matthew 2:13-14).

This moving subject, popular in the arts since the Middle Ages, occupies only a small place in Rembrandt's painting. The artist put more emphasis on the mesmerising atmosphere of a hilly landscape at night lit by multiple light sources. Therefore, the painting is usually grouped among Rembrandt's nine painted landscapes. Of this small group, The Rest on the Flight into Egypt is Rembrandt's only nightscape.

Regarded as the most gifted Dutch artist, Rembrandt was also one of the most versatile, as he excelled in painting, drawing and the art of etching. He represented mostly subjects from the Bible and classical mythology and portrayed many burghers from Amsterdam.

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