The Flight into Egypt

Jacopo Bassano (Italian, 1510-1592)
c. 1544-45
Oil on canvas 
framed: 60-5/8 x 90 in. (154.0 x 228.6 cm); canvas: 48-1/2 x 77-1/4 in. (123.2 x 196.2 cm) 
Credit Line:
Norton Simon Art Foundation 
Accession Number:
© Norton Simon Art Foundation 
On View

Jacopo Bassano specialized in the production of Biblical, pastoral scenes featuring peasants and animals. His paintings were admired for their richness of color and complex designs. Here the procession is animated by a strong sense of diagonal movement, the swirling draperies and the emphatically gesturing angel. Only the Madonna and Child, the physical and spiritual apex of the composition, appear tranquil. The sublimely eccentric angel leads them into undefined, even precipitous territory. His right hand points to a sprouting tree, a symbol of Christ's resurrection. This type of intricate, picturesque composition, pleasing in every detail, was inspiring to later generations of artists.


General Sir James Henry Craig (1748-1812), by inheritance to;
Lord Harrington (sale, London, Christie’s, 18 April 1812, lot 11, bought in).
Sir Joseph Henry Hawley, 3rd Baronet (1814-1875), Leybourne Grange, Brighton, and London, by inheritance to his brother;
Sir Henry James Hawley, 4th Baronet (1815-1898).
Miss Annie Massey.
Stuart Rendel, 1st Baron Rendel of Hatchlands (1834–1913), to his grandson;
Harry Stuart Goodhart-Rendel, C.B.E. (1887–1959), gift 1957 to;
Prinknash Abbey, Gloucester; installed in refectory 13 February 1958 (sale, London, Christie’s, 5 December 1969, lot 112), to;
Norton Simon Art Foundation.

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