DUCCIO di Buoninsegna
(b. ca. 1255, Siena, d. 1319, Siena)
Flight into Egypt (scene 6)1308-11
Tempera on wood, 43 x 44 cm
Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Siena
This panel is on the front predella of the Maestà. The Flight into Egypt is flanked by the standing images of Prophets Jeremiah and Hosea.
The Flight into Egypt includes two scenes. The procession of Joseph and Mary, riding on a donkey with the Christ Child on her lap, moves forward. With both gaze and gesture, Joseph and the servant draw the viewer's eye to Mary. The harsh rocky crags and small green trees are the background to the journey (the boy leading the donkey is not mentioned in the canonical gospels).
On the left is the figure of Joseph asleep. The writing on the scroll consisting of the words of the angel who appeared to him explains his warning dream: "Accipe puerum et matrem eius et fuge in Egitum" (Matthew 2, 13: Take the child and his mother and go into Egypt).