The Flight into Egypt, Italian School, 17th Century.

Oil on bloodstone with bevelled edges, rectangular with deep cut corners, in a pierced gilt-metal frame decorated with scrolls and flowers and with a string tie surmount, width 9.8cm.
A pair to MIN0069.

The artist who painted these beautiful miniatures is unknown, but they were purchased on one of the first two Grand Tours taken by John, 5th Earl of Exeter (1648-1700) and his Countess Anne (1649-1703).

The countess seems to have particularly liked small religious paintings and there were many later known to have been in her private apartments.

This, and its pair MIN0069 were recorded in the 1688 Burghley Inventory: ‘My Ladyes Closett…. 2 little peices painted upon bluod stones with guilt and wrought brasse frames (viz.) a Joseph & Mary, ye flight into Egypt by —–.’

Members of the party on the early Grand Tours recorded several visits to religious sites.


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