The Flight into Egypt
c. 1544-45
Jacopo Bassano (Italian, 1510-1592)
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.


  • Artist Name: Jacopo Bassano (Italian, 1510-1592)
  • Title: The Flight into Egypt
  • Date: c. 1544-45
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 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: M.1969.35.P
  • Copyright: © Norton Simon Art Foundation

Object Information

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.

Exhibition of Works by the Old Masters and by Deceased Masters of the British School

  • London, 1879 to

The Golden Century of Venetian Painting

  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1979-10-30 to 1980-01-27

[on loan]

  • Princeton University Art Museum, 1980-12-01 to

[on loan]

  • New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1970-07-05 to

[on loan]

  • Princeton University Art Museum, 1972-11-21 to

Italian Art and Britain

  • London, Royal Academy, 1960-01-02 to 1960-03-06

Masterpieces of European Painting from the Norton Simon Museum

  • The Frick Collection, 2009-02-10 to 2009-05-10

Selections from the Norton Simon, Inc. Museum of Art

  • Princeton University Art Museum, 1972-12-03 to 1974-07-17
  • Herrmann, L., The Burlington Magazine, p. 465
  • Sutton, Denys, Apollo, fig. 1 p. 94
  • Benedict, N., The Burlington Magazine, fig. 39 p. 76
  • Sutton, Denys, Apollo, p. 386
  • Pallucchini, R., Eberhard Hanfstaengl zum 75. Geburstag, 1961, fig. 1 p. 75
  • Wright, W., Spectrum (British Science News), 1970, fig. 2 pp. 15-16
  • Christie's Review of the Year 1969/1970, 1970, pp. 28-29
  • Freedberg, Sidney, Painting in Italy 1500 to 1600, 1971, p. 542
  • Steadman, David, University: A Princeton Quarterly, 1974, no. 57 p. 7
  • Pignatti, T; and K. Donahue, The Golden Century of Venetian Painting, 1979, no. 48 pp. 132-135, 170
  • Palluchini, R., Bassano, 1982, no. 11 p. 26
  • Rigon, F., Gli Animali di Jacopo Bassano, 1983, figs. 12 a, b, c pp. 33, 36-37
  • J. Martineau and Charles Hope, Genius of Venice 1500-1600, 1984, p. 146
  • Masterpieces from the Norton Simon Museum, 1989, pp. 36-37
  • Herbert, J., Inside Christie's, 1990, p. 161
  • Jacopo Bassano c. 1510-1592, 1992, pp. 64-65, 67-68, 73, 276, 534
  • Steadman, David, Art Journal, 1996, fig. 2 pp. 34-35
  • Freedberg, S. J. et al., Jacapo Bassano (1510c. -1592): tre lezioni del XXXIV Corso internazionale di alta cultura tenutosi alla Fondazione Giorgio Cini di Venezia nel 1992 dal titolo Civilità di terraferma e Venezia nell-età dei Bassano, 1998,
  • Sprute, Rosemarie, Hirtenanbetungen von Jacopo Bassano: Annäherung an ein religionspolitisches Selbstverständnis, 1999, fig. 17 p. 50
  • Wilson, Carolyn C., Saint Joseph in Italian Renaissance Art: New Directions and New Interpretations, 2001, pl. 60 p. 153
  • Ballarin, Alessandro and Giuliana Ericani, Jacopo Bassano e lo stupendo inganno dell'occhio, 2010, p. 44
  • Campbell, Sara, Collector Without Walls: Norton Simon and His Hunt for the Best, 2010, cat. 702 p. 329
  • Renato Miracco, Italian Treasures in the U.S. An Itinerary of Art, 2014, p. #41
  • Lord Hindlip, An Auctioneer's Lot, Triumphs and Disasters at Christie's and Beyond, 2016, pp. 74-75, 96 ; p. 72 (ill.)
  • Claudia Caramanna, Novità su Jacopo Apollonio, nipote dei Bassano (Arte Veneta 79), 2023, fig. 11 pp. 95-96, p. 96 (ill.)
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Additional Artwork by Artist

Portrait of a Lady Jacopo Bassano after 1570

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