The Rest on the Flight into Egypt

The Virgin and Child with Saint Joseph rest and refresh themselves during their Flight into Egypt. They are seated under a fig tree next to a fountain bearing a gilded urinating figure, perhaps Cupid.

In the background is the Miracle of the Corn, according to which Herod’s soldiers, pursuing the Holy Family came across a man sowing corn. The man said he had seen the fugitives when he was sowing, but, miraculously the crop had grown overnight to its full height and the pursuers were deceived.

The figures and their arrangement closely resemble the work of the Master of the Female Half-Lengths.

Key facts

Artist dates
active second quarter of the 16th century
Full title
The Rest on the Flight into Egypt
Date made
about 1540
Medium and support
Oil on oak
84.2 × 64 cm
Acquisition credit
Presented by Queen Victoria at the Prince Consort's wish, 1863
Inventory number
Location in Gallery