Description After the departure of the wise men, the Gospel of Matthew reports that an angel appeared to Joseph in a dream and warned him to take Mary and Jesus and flee to safety in Egypt. Here, they are guided by an angel through what should be an arid desert or wilderness but is more like the countryside near Antwerp. Jordaens may not have known-or cared-what desert terrain looked like, but his flamboyant vegetation lends baroque drama to the moment and is typical of the artist who followed in importance only Rubens and Van Dyck among Flemish painters of his time.However a comparison with a Netherlandish depiction from around 1520 of a related subject, There are multiple variations on this composition by Jordaens and his workshop, the earliest of which is signed and dated 1640 (Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow).
- World of Wonder. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1971-1972.
- Salute to Belgium. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1980.
Provenance Duc de Trévise [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, December 8, 1947, no. 65; "M.F." Sale, Galerie Charpentier, Paris, March 20, 1953, no. 9; David M. Koetser Gallery, New York and London, 1953-54; Walters Art Museum, 1954, by purchase.
Credit Museum purchase, 1954
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