The Flight into Egypt

Giovanni Battista Tiepolo Italian

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 643

Made in Madrid toward the end of Tiepolo’s life, this painting is one of his most refined. It combines an innovative, asymmetrical composition that takes advantage of empty space and a cool palette animated with quivering outlines of the landscape, rockface, prostrate angel, and Holy Family. The Virgin is monumental as she protectively enwraps her son, far exceeding the work’s modest scale. The family has just disembarked from a boat that ferried them across the Nile river, though this imaginary topography seems more inspired by the Alps than by Egypt.

The Flight into Egypt, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (Italian, Venice 1696–1770 Madrid), Oil on canvas

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