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Cornelis Massys

The Rest during the Flight into Egypt

Panel: 37,5 x 52,5 cm

introduction

The gentle hills in this panoramic landscape, arranged over a succession of coloured planes according to a muted tonal perspective, are characteristic of the unassuming and intimate style of Cornelis Massys. There isn’t the abundance of expressive and theatrical formal motifs you would expect in a painting by Met de Bles, but rather a desire to create a simple and abstract work, which nonetheless features anecdotal details anchoring the composition in an entirely bucolic reality.

Here, we find the artist’s recurring motif of the "arbre-coulisse" (tree in the wings), which closes the composition and is cut off by the corners of the painting. Its downy foliage as well as the presence of vegetation at the base of the trunk are also characteristic. On a similar note, the architecture is marked by a very domestic touch, reminiscent of Gassel’s style.

Finally, in line with the overall appearance of this landscape, the figures have a rather rounded and stocky air: large heads and heavy limbs give them a somewhat naïve look which nevertheless contributes to the peaceful charm emanating from this painting.

Provenance :
Private collection