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The Flight into Egypt: Crossing a Brook (B.55)

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About the Work
About the Artist

About the Work

Rembrandt van Rijn is considered a Dutch master and one of the great artists of all time. As well as producing many paintings and portraits, Rembrandt produced many etchings. The Flight into Egypt: Crossing a Brook is an etching on paper from Rembrandt’s original plate, printed by the Basan family. This image measures 4 x 6 inches.

In the 1650s Rembrandt created a number of night pieces-dark prints that allowed him to explore the various ways in which single sources of light illuminate otherwise pitch-black scenes. The cropping of this Flight into Egypt is unusual: the donkey’s lower legs and Joseph’s feet fall outside of the picture plane. Because of this it has traditionally been assumed that they are wading through a brook. The shadows falling on Mary and Jesus consist of parallel lines, with much white between them. As a result, mother and child stand out somewhat against the densely shaded background.

One of the most revered artists of all time, Rembrandt's greatest creative triumphs are seen in his portraits of his contemporaries, illustrations of biblical scenes and self-portraits as well as his innovative etchings and use of shadow and light.

About the Artist

Rembrandt van Rijn was born in Leiden on July 15, 1606. He was the son of a miller, and his parents put high importance on his education. At the age of 14, Rembrandt was enrolled at the University of Leiden, which he soon left in order to study art. Rembrandt mastered everything he was taught in an impressively short six months, and he returned to Leiden. His style took an innovative turn involving the use of light. His new style left large areas of his paintings obscured in shadow and containing heavy contrasts of brightness with deep darkness, that would soon be termed as chiaroscuro in the 1670s. Rembrandt used light in his paintings to draw the viewer’s eye to a specific focal point before moving in to observe the abundant details within. On October 4, 1669, Rembrandt died in Amsterdam. There are many myths about Rembrandt’s death and the circumstances surrounding it, however, his international reputation among connoisseurs and collectors continued to rise post-mortem. Considered as a forerunner of the Romantic movement Rembrandt is remembered as an artist who was ahead of time in his choice in technique and mastering of chiaroscuro. Today, his work hangs on the walls of prestigious galleries and museums across the globe and stand as a powerful representation of the beauty, complexities, and success of Dutch art. Martin Lawrence Galleries is honored to have select Rembrandt works in our inventory.

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