Lower Church, San Francesco, Assisi

The Gospel of Matthew contains the only Biblical  reference to the Flight into Egypt:

13 And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.
14 When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt:
15 And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.

  And yet, from this laconic beginning, an extensive mythology has grown, which has inspired many artists, from the eighth century to the present day. This study explores the various narratives and their influence on art.

  One small, sad footnote: I am writing this in June 2011. A Google search of the words 'Flight into Egypt' brings reports of families fleeing into Egypt  with their children from an unforgiving dictator in Libya. An ancient story suddenly takes on a very modern resonance.



What happened before

The journey

The Rest on the Flight



1: the miraculous well
2: the field of corn

3: the falling idols

4: the  tree that bowed down
5.The gypsy fortune teller

The return

Other people


Old Testament echoes

Spot the Holy Family - if you can!


Case study- Caravaggio - Rest on the Flight into Egypt.


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