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Escape to Egypt is considered one of the early works of the great artist of the Renaissance Titian, probably made in 1507 or 1508. The work is written on canvas of an impressive size (206 x 336 cm), most of the composition is landscape. Catherine the Great acquired this canvas in 1768 in Venice. It was recently restored, and opened for display at the St. Petersburg Hermitage.
Mary is riding a donkey, her child is on her knees, Joseph is walking. A group of travelers is headed by a young man, possibly an angel - according to the tradition of images of that time, he necessarily accompanies the Holy Family. The picture is filled with an unprecedented sensitivity to light, which is so characteristic of almost all of Titian's paintings. He spontaneously uses in some ways even a naive approach to the vision of nature, this is especially noticeable in animal images. The young artist demonstrates his mastery of landscape painting, his bold brush strokes and the exciting use of flowers will subsequently become the hallmarks of his artistic style. The landscape attracts the eye with incredible green foliage, blue sky, deep blue mountains in the distance.
The flight to Egypt was commissioned by Andrea Loredan, a Venetian patrician, a relative of the Venetian Doge Loredan, who was considered the patron of many painters of the time. It was planned that the picture would be a decoration of the portico of the Loredan Palace, located on the Venetian Grand Canal, which now houses the casino. Loredan was also the patron of such great artists who worked on Venetian soil as Giovanni Bellini, Giorgione and Sebastiano del Piombo.