The Flight into Egypt: A Night Piece

Rembrandt van Rijn (Dutch, late 1600s - late 1660s)
1651; 17th century impression
Etching and drypoint
Plate : 5 x 4 3/8 in. (12.7 x 11.11 cm)
Credit Line
The Sarah and Grace Collection
Object Number

Rembrandt adds drama to this image of the Holy Family’s flight into Egypt by setting the scene at night. Dense areas of cross-hatching on the plate create an inky darkness that envelops Joseph, Mary and Jesus as they flee King Herod’s murderous wrath. Rembrandt’s technique is so effective that the untouched areas of the paper inside Joseph’s lantern truly appear to glow with light. Rembrandt revised the plate for this print many times until he achieved the visual effects he desired. This impression was taken from the next to last state of the plate and dates to the 17th century.

Object Type
Academic Themes
New Testament Stories