Rest on the Flight into Egypt, after Federico Barocci
Engraving by Heinrich Guttenberg (1745-1818) after Federico Barocci's "Rest on the Flight into Egypt," also known as the "Madonna delle Ciliegie," presents a compelling and evocative piece of artistry.
In this work, we witness the Virgin Mary in repose, taking a momentary respite during her journey to Egypt. She is seated gracefully, her hand delicately holding a cup to draw water from a gentle stream. Beside her, Saint Joseph extends a branch laden with apples towards the Child Jesus, who responds with laughter and outstretched hands.
Foreshadowing the Baroque era
Federico Barocci, standing apart from the conventions of mannerism and foreshadowing the Baroque era, infuses a profound sense of humanity into his compositions. He elevates everyday gestures and the natural expressions of his subjects, imbuing them with a timeless beauty that transcends artistic trends.
One notable departure from convention in Barocci's portrayal is the substitution of the classic palm with a cherry tree, signifying new beginnings and the joys of life. The loaf of bread emerging from the saddlebag near the Madonna's feet hints at Eucharistic symbolism, while the luminous backdrop that unfolds into an expansive landscape alludes to the universal themes of humanity.
This engraving, created on laid paper from the early 18th century, remains in commendable condition. While the passage of time has left its marks, the chiaroscuro tones remain excellent, preserving the intricate details and emotional resonance of this remarkable work.