Flight into Egypt (recto); Various Studies (verso)

Object Details

Title:

Flight into Egypt (recto); Various Studies (verso)

Artist/Maker(s):

Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (Italian, 1696 - 1770)

Culture:

Italian

Place(s):

Italy (Place created)

Date:

1725 - 1735

Medium:

Pen and brown ink with brown wash over black chalk (recto); faint red chalk (verso)

Dimensions:

30.5 x 45.2 cm (12 x 17 13/16 in.)

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To escape Herod's soldiers, the Virgin Mary and Joseph fled into Egypt with the infant Jesus. Most representations of this story show Mary carrying Jesus in her arms while riding on a donkey, and Joseph leading the animal by the halter. In this drawing, however, an angel helps the Virgin and Child aboard a boat. Joseph is barely visible between the angel and the Virgin.

Giovanni Battista Tiepolo interpreted the scene with the nautical expertise of a painter born and raised in Venice. He chose a flat-bottomed vessel not unlike the gondolas that still ply the waters of his native city. The energetically applied washes and the action of the boatman about to push off from the bank convey a sense of urgency. Tiepolo left areas of the paper untouched, creating light and dark contrasts that suggest brilliant sunlight and shadow.

Exhibitions
Drawings from the J. Paul Getty Museum (May 24 to August 8, 1993)
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art, (New York), May 24 to August 8, 1993, (Cat. recto 109)
Drawings from the J. Paul Getty Museum (October 29, 1993 to January 23, 1994)
  • Royal Academy of Arts (London), October 29, 1993 to January 23, 1994, (Cat. recto 47)
Master Drawings from the J. Paul Getty Museum (December 16, 1997 to February 22, 1998)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), December 16, 1997 to February 22, 1998, (Cat. recto)
Drawing Italy in the Age of the Grand Tour (February 5 to May 12, 2002)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), February 5 to May 12, 2002, (Cat. recto)
Light and Water: Drawing in Eighteenth-Century Venice (May 17 to August 21, 2005)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), June 1 to August 22, 2004, (Cat. recto)
The Poetry of Paper (July 23 to October 20, 2013)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), July 23 to October 20, 2013, (Cat. recto)