The Flight into Egypt: A Night Piece
Rembrandt van Rijn (Dutch, 15 July 1606 – 4 October 1669)
Date1651; 17th century impression
MediumEtching and drypoint
DimensionsPlate : 5 x 4 3/8 in. (12.7 x 11.11 cm)
Credit LineThe Sarah and Grace Collection
LabelRembrandt 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.