Bertram of Minden ca. 1340 – 1414/15
Rest on the Flight into Egypt
mixed techniques on panel (84 × 56 cm) — 1383 Kunsthalle, Hamburg
This work is linked to Matthew 2:14
This is one of the panels of the Grabow altarpiece, Bertram's major work.
The family of Joseph and Mary flees to Egypt to escape the infanticide planned and executed by King Herod. Here the three rest for a moment.
Joseph's keys are interesting. They are a reference to Peter, to whom the church where the altarpiece came was dedicated (the Petri Church in Hamburg). Perhaps they also emphasize that, despite the lack of a halo, Joseph played a 'key role': after all, he had to ensure safety for mother and child.
It may be the first known depiction of The Flight in western art.
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