Skip to comments.Rest on the Flight into Egypt (awesome painting with St Joseph)
Posted on 03/18/2019 9:04:11 PM PDT by DoodleBob
Rest on the Flight into Egypt, 1879
Luc Olivier Merson (French, 18461920)
71.8 x 128.3 cm (28 1/4 x 50 1/2 in.)
Frances Vrachos Gallery (Gallery 144)
Fleeing persecution at the hands of Roman authorities, the Holy Family takes refuge in Egypt. Joseph dozes beside a dying campfire while his donkey grazes on sparse desert grass. At left sleep the Virgin Mary and infant Christ, crowned with a halo of light. They lie in the arms of a sphinx, its eyes turned to the heavens, where the first stars begin to appear. A successful Academic artist, Merson never traveled to North Africa, but his use of archeological detail creates the illusion of an eyewitness account, breathing new life into a time-honored subject.
(Excerpt) Read more at mfa.org ...
Like a 3D picture.
“But they were fleeing Herod, not the Roman authorities.”
I was going to post that too, but considering that Herod was put into his position (tetrarch), by the Romans, the writer isn’t totally incorrect.
Hello. Youve got a point
I haven't bought a reproduction, but after having seen the original, I am torn. I cannot express to you how moving the original was to me. Mrs. DoodleBob said I was (unintentionally) rude because I stood right in front of the painting and looked up real close, and blocked others' view. Then seeing that Mercer's St. Joseph was not sleeping made my heart leap with joy because it reinforced my own view, that St Joseph was not some silent old man but a bedrock of strength.
If you get a chance to see the original, please do it. In fact seeing the original of anything is always a worthwhile quest. And as SunkenCiv noted, the MFA is a great museum.
A wealth of information.
It made a big impression on me, though. I am amazed that you caught the subtle indications of Joseph's sleeplessness. I had that feeling too, but you caught it and put it into words.
The artist has such depth, such heart.
The only thing that could use improvement (and granted, I've not been there in years) is the Greek and Roman classical collection -- not least because one gets there through the Egyptian collection. If they ever build a new house, they should keep the Egyptian collection monolithic, but spread the Roman and Greek stuff throughout the rest of the museum.
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