MANCINI, Francesco
(b. 1679, San Angelo in Vado, d. 1758, Roma)

Rest during the Flight to Egypt

Oil on canvas, 136 x 100 cm
Pinacoteca, Vatican

In The Rest During the Flight into Egypt the figures of the Virgin and child are harmoniously composed, the former holding a small bowl in her hand (inspired by Correggio's Madonna della Scodella) with the child Jesus on her lap, turning toward Saint Joseph, who offers him some strawberries, the symbol of his human incarnation. Behind the holy family are the figures of three angels, two of whom make music (one is playing a flute, the other is singing) while the third holds a garland of flowers above the Virgin's head. In the background appears an obelisk and some classical buildings that evoke a Roman landscape.

In this picture, the refined sensitivity of the artist is confirmed by the fineness of the painting: the Correggesque grace of the attitudes, the atmosphere of intimate familiarity, the softness of the modeling achieved with fluid brushwork that makes masterly use of shading, and a range of bright colors penetrated with light.