image Flight into Egypt

944px-Michelangelo_Caravaggio_025

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, Rest on the Flight into Egypt (c. 1597)

Caravaggio’s Flight into Egypt shows the Holy Family at rest while music is being played by an angel.

An angel has warned Joseph about Herod’s plans to have his newborn son killed. The Holy Family flees into Egypt; here they are shown resting. Their means of transport, a donkey, watches them from the background.

The music that Joseph holds in his hands was written by Noel Bauldewijn in honor of Mary: Quam pulchra es, How beautiful you are (based on a verse in the Song of Songs). The heavenly atmosphere is strengthened by the fact that the violin is played by an angel. Source: Art Bible http://www.artbible.info/art/large/424.html

See also http://pureandlowly.wordpress.com/mary-byzantine-and-baroque/caravaggio-rest-on-the-flight-into-egypt-baroque/

An extract from M by Peter Robb found at http://hubbychu.tumblr.com/post/15343680806 sheds further light on this scene.

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