(b. ca. 1400, Vicchio nell Mugello, d. 1455, Roma)

Flight into Egypt

Tempera on wood, 38,5 x 37 cm
Museo di San Marco, Florence

This scene shows the continuing influence on Angelico of naturalism. Having been warned in a dream, Joseph, Mary and the infant Christ make their escape from Herod's massacres by going into Egypt. Behind them a series of trees of diminishing size plots out the perspective of the landscape. The Holy Family is lit by a strong light from the left, the Virgin's draperies carefully delineated so as to show the position of both her legs as she rides side-saddle on the donkey. As in The Circumcision her halo is depicted as a three-dimensional object, which can both turn in space and reflect light. It was only late in his career as a painter that Angelico began to develop the spatial properties of the nimbus.