Albrecht Dürer, 'The Flight into Egypt'

Albrecht Dürer, 'The Flight into Egypt'

Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528)
'The Flight into Egypt'
Germany
About 1504-1505
Woodcut, ink on paper
Width 20.9 cm x height 29 cm
Museum no. E.1134-1900

Joseph is shown leading a donkey which carries Mary, she is cradling the baby Jesus. Jesus's swaddled head is visible in the centre of the print, between Mary and the horn of the ox. According to the Bible (Matthew 2:13-15) the Holy Family fled to Egypt after Joseph received a warning that King Herod was searching for the infant Jesus in order to kill him.

The combination of Albrecht Dürer's (1471-1528) draughtsmanship, with the skill of the artists who cut his drawings into the wooden blocks used to print them, established woodcutting as a major artistic medium and shows why Dürer's prints were so highly regarded in his own lifetime.