The central section of this triptych depicts the Holy Family resting upon their flight into Egypt to escape the persecution of King Herod. The two flanking panels of the triptych depict scenes from the Passion (on the left wing, Christ Debating the Church Fathers, Simon's Prophecy and Christ's Interment, and on the right, Christ Bearing the Cross, the Crucifixion and the Lamentation) and are thought to have been painted by artists other than Patinir. These seven subjects were frequently depicted in Flanders at the time as the Seven Sorrows of the Madonna, and normally flanked either a Pieta or Mater Dolorosa image. There are no other known examples of the Rest on the Flight into Egypt, as seen here, dominant over the other six subjects. In this regard, it is thought that the small round paintings on either side of the triptych were painted by someone other than Patinir. Even though technically the Flight into Egypt is a religious subject, here the painter was clearly more interested in the depiction of the landscape that spreads behind the Madonna than in the figures themselves. Patinir did not create pure landscape paintings, rather he normally produced paintings, as here, that were nominally religious in subject matter. Clearly these subjects were just excuses to paint landscapes, with the scenes that spread into the far distance the real subjects of the paintings. Thus said, however, it is possible that Patinir thought of the landscape as a stage setting surrounding a religious scene, and it thus might be a mistake to consider as separate the depiction of the landscape and the central subjects in his works.(Source: Masterpieces of the National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, 2009, cat. no. 9)


  • Title: Triptych: Rest on the Flight into Egypt
  • Date Created: c. 1515
  • Location Created: The Netherlands
  • Provenance: Goudstikker, Amsterdam, 1928; A. Kleiweg de Zwaan, Doorn (Netherlands); Frederick Mont, New York.
  • Physical Dimensions: w380 x h310 mm
  • Painter: Joachim Patinir (follower of)
  • Object title (Japanese): 三連祭壇画:エジプト逃避途上の休息
  • Object notes (Japanese): この三連祭壇画は、中央に「エジプト逃避途上の休息」が、両翼にはそれぞれ3個のメダイヨンの中にキリスト伝(左翼には、「博士たちと議論をするキリスト」「シメオンの預言」「埋葬」、右翼には、「十字架を運ぶキリスト」「礎刑」「哀悼」)が描かれている。この七つの主題は、当時のフランドルでしばしば描かれた「聖母の七つの悲しみ」という図像を構成するものであるが、この図像においては、「悲しみの聖母」、あるいは「ピエタ」が中央部を占めるのが通例であり、この作品のように「エジプト逃避途上の休息」が他の六つの主題を従属させる例はない。この点からしても、両翼の小円型画はパティニール以外の画家の手になるものと考えられる。中央部は聖家族がヘロデ王の迫害を逃れてエジプトに向かう道すがら休息している情景であるが、作者の関心が宗教主題そのものより、聖母子の背景に拡がる風景描写にあることは一目瞭然であろう。パティニールは純粋な風景画を制作することはなく、その作品は常に宗教主題を持つものであったが、画家にとって主題は口実に過ぎず、どの作品をとっても、遥か彼方まで拡がる風景の描写が真の主題となっている。とはいえ、パティニールによるこうしたパノラマ風景においては、風景それ自体が宗教的場と化していた可能性もあり、風景描写と主題とを分けようとする思考それ自体が誤りなのかもしれない。(出典: 国立西洋美術館名作選. 東京, 国立西洋美術館, 2006. cat. no. 9)
  • Artist Name (Japanese): パティニール、ヨアヒム(派)
  • Type: Paintings
  • Rights: http://www.nmwa.go.jp/en/information/privacy.html
  • External Link: The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo
  • Medium: Oil on panel

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