Rest During the Flight into Egypt (1500?) by Patinir JoachimMuseo Nacional de Bellas Artes de Argentina
Attributed to Joachim Patinir, this landscape, seen from a high vantage point, was composed in a succession of planes that culminate in the distance. It is a good example of the technique applied by Flemish painters in the early sixteenth century, when this pictorial genre was being shaped.
The high horizon barely leaves a small strip of the sky visible, and allows it to present a number of scenes, which culminate in the farthest plane, where an extensive panorama of soft hills unfold.
In the middle plane, we see a group of soldiers marching towards a series of fields, where farmers are plowing and sowing their crops.
On the right, amidst a field of wheat, a man carries a child on his shoulders.
We can also distinguish a highly detailed windmill...
... and a group of houses surrounding a small square, where a woman desperately pleads to a soldier who has just snatched her child. Another woman is seen, raising her arms, calling for attention to what is happening.
On the left, we see a water mill and some figures that stand out against tall, craggy boulders.
In the foreground, we recognize Virgin Mary who is resting with the Child on her lap.
Next to her there is a basket and a small bundle.
On her right we see Saint Joseph collecting water...
while the donkey is grazing on the left.
The composition and layout of the landscape, as well as certain details such as the windmill, the lonely tree, the rabbits running across the field or the basket with the travel bundle, can be associated with the creative output of Joachim Patinir.
Joachim Patinir is considered the initiator of this movement, where the landscape becomes a protagonist, along with small-sized figures that refer back to a story.
The work, which was formerly in the Santamarina collection, joined the Museum as a Patinir; however, we have not been able to pinpoint any details regarding its origin. The mentioned elements made us keep its traditional attribution. We also believe that to formulate a more accurate opinion in a case as difficult as Patinir's, a more rigorous analysis is needed.
full text by Ángel M. Navarro available in Spanish here