Skip to main content
The Rest on the Flight into Egypt
Master of the Female Half-Lengths
/

The holy family rest as they flee from Bethlehem to Egypt, trying to escape King Herod’s order that all boys under two be killed. Mary sits on a low wall that encloses a courtyard and a fountain. She has opened her dress and chemise to reveal her right breast, evidently to feed her son. Saint Joseph stands behind the wall and bends over to offer a dish of fruit – grapes, apples, cherries and perhaps a pear – to Christ. Their donkey, saddled and ready to go, grazes quietly in the field behind them.

There are obvious similarities between this painting and The Concert, the key work by the Master of the Female Half-Lengths (Schloss Rohrau, near Vienna). The two were probably painted around the same time, which, from the ladies' clothes in the Concert, may have been around 1540. The National Gallery panel once had an arched top.

Key facts
Artist Master of the Female Half-Lengths
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
Dimensions 84.2 × 64 cm
Acquisition credit Presented by Queen Victoria at the Prince Consort's wish, 1863
Inventory number NG720
Location in Gallery Not on display
Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download a low-resolution copy of this image for personal use.

License this image

License and download a high-resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.

License image
Download low-resolution image

This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.

Examples of non-commercial use are:

  • Research, private study, or for internal circulation within an educational organisation (such as a school, college or university)
  • Non-profit publications, personal websites, blogs, and social media

The image file is 800 pixels on the longest side.

As a charity, we depend upon the generosity of individuals to ensure the collection continues to engage and inspire. Help keep us free by making a donation today.

Yes, I'd like to donate
Or
Download low-resolution image

You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.

Creative Commons Logo