Rest on the Flight into Egypt

Jan Baptist Weenix, Dutch (active Amsterdam, Rome, and Utrecht), 1621 - 1660/61

c. 1647-1650

Oil on canvas

21 3/4 x 20 inches (55.2 x 50.8 cm)

Curatorial Department:
European Painting

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Purchased with the George W. Elkins Fund, 1984

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The Holy Family's rest during their escape from the murderous Herod was a popular devotional subject. Here Weenix, a Dutch artist who had just returned from Italy, locates the figures in front of classical ruins. The dove that the baby Jesus holds in his right hand alludes to purity, peace, and the Holy Spirit. The apple in his other hand refers to the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge that was forbidden to Adam and Eve by God. The suggestion of a cross in the hayloft may prefigure the Crucifixion, while the dog may represent the Christian virtue of obedience.


Possibly Adriaen de Waert, Amsterdam, 1695 [1]. Possibly sale, Oude Heeren Logement, Amsterdam, May 18, 1706, no. 74 [2]. The Dukes of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel, Salzdahlum, Lower Saxony, Germany, until 1795 [3]; Chevalier François Xavier de Burtin (1743-1818) probably in 1795 [4]; sale, Burtin collection, Godfurneau, Brussels, July 21, 1819, no. 191; purchased by Comte François-Xavier de Robiano (d. 1836); his sale, Barbé, Brussels, May 1, 1837, no. 716 [5]; purchased by Héris [6]. Probably sale, M[onsieur] Hébrard, Bonnefons de la Vialle, Paris, March 9-12, 1840, no. 143 bis (as "Repos de la Ste. Famille") [7]. Paul Périer (d. 1849); his sale, Bonnefons de la Vialle, Paris, March 16, 1843, no. 50 [8]; purchased by Mme Hazard [9]. Private collection, France [10]. With Galerie Heim, Paris, by 1975; with Christophe Janet Gallery, New York, by 1984; sold to PMA, 1984. 1. According to Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, "Italian Recollections: Dutch Painters of the Golden Age" (exh. cat.), 1990, no. 62. 2. Described in the catalog as "Josep en Marie [van Gio. Baptista Weninx] zynde een capitaal stuk". 3. Date from Burtin, Traité théorique et pratique des connaissances (Brussels, 1808), v. 2, no. 182, p. 348. 4. Burtin probably acquired the painting directly from the Duke of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel, his patron in the late 1790's, with whom he exchanged other pictures (see Eveline Koolhaas-Grosfeld, "François Xavier de Burtin (1743-1818)," Septentrion, v. 16, no. 3, 1987, p. 38). Burtin published it in 1808 as one of the works in his collection in his Traité théorique et pratique des connaissances (see note 3). 5. As from the Burtin Collection. 6. Buyer name from Getty Provenance Index and Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Documentatie (RKD) annotated copy. Most likely the dealer Henri Héris of Brussels. 7. Handwritten lot entry tipped in to the RKD copy. Without dimensions, but gives a detailed description and notes the Dukes of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel provenance. An annotation in the RKD copy of the 1843 sale catalogue also notes the prior Hébrard (here spelled "Hebrayd") sale. 8. An annotation transcribed in the Getty Provenance Index record for the 1819 Burtin sale catalogue notes the 1843 Périer sale (GPI catalogue no. B-318, from annotated copy at Bibliotheek, Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp, Belgium). The 1843 sale catalogue lists the Burtin provenance. 9. From annotation in RKD copy. This person purchased several other paintings at this sale, and seems to have been a collector or dealer of Dutch 17th century art; there was also an auction house called Hazard. 10. The 1984 Christophe Janet exhibition catalogue lists the provenance as "private collection, France"; elsewhere in the curatorial file it is listed as "private collection, Europe."