Jan de Beer, Netherlandish, c.1475-1528
Title: The Flight into Egypt
Date: 1519-1527
Medium: Oil on oak panel
33.5 x 23.7 cm
Credit Line: Purchased, 1938
Object Number: NGI.1001
Exhibition HistoryCentenary Exhibition, National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin, October - December 1964
Label TextThis small panel depicts an episode from the Gospel of Matthew (2: 13-15), which mentions that Joseph travelled with the Holy Virgin and the Infant Christ to Egypt to safeguard them from being killed by King Herod. According to a later apocryphal text, all pagan idols fell from their pedestals when the Holy Family arrived in Egypt, as illustrated in the background of this painting. De Beer’s only signed work of art is a drawing now at the British Museum, London, which has prompted scholars to attribute various paintings to the Antwerp master. De Beer was the most talented of the so-called Antwerp Mannerists.

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