Jacopo Tintoretto, The Flight into Egypt

1582-87
Oil on canvas
Scuola Grande di San Rocco, Venice, Italy

Only a few images of the flight into Egypt have the family crossing water, as they appear to have done in this painting. Having left the tidy and peaceful river scene behind, Joseph pushes through a dark terrain toward the unknown that lies beyond the painting's edge, leading an ass that struggles under its outsize rider.

To emphasize the difficulty of the journey ahead, the artist has left out the family members that often accompany and assist the couple in other images. Only the pot hanging from a stick alludes to Mary's stepfather who in some earlier works walks with them and carries a satchel on a pole.

View this image in full resolution
Read more about The Flight into Egypt

Photographed at the site by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.