After the Crucifixion, two of Christ's disciples set out for Emmaus. They were joined by Christ himself, disguised as a pilgrim, who explained the prophecies concerning his death and resurrection. It was not until they broke bread together at an inn in Emmaus that the disciples recognised the risen Christ (Luke 24: 13-29). A goldfinch in the foreground probably symbolises Christ's Passion.

The painting, which reveals the influence of Michelangelo, is datable after Orsi's trip to Rome (and probably to the period about 1565-75).

Key facts

Artist
Artist dates
about 1511 - 1587
Full title
The Walk to Emmaus
Date made
about 1565-75
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
71.1 x 57.1 cm
Acquisition credit
Bought, 1895
Inventory number
NG1466
Location in Gallery