The Dawn of Christianity (The Flight into Egypt) (1841)


The greatest English painter of his generation, Turner has his roots in the English topographical watercolour tradition. His late works of the 1840s, of which this is a superb example, are characterized by brilliant colour and free brushwork. The Flight into Egypt depicts Mary, Joseph and the infant Christ fleeing into Egypt to escape King Herod. The broken Egyptian architecture half-submerged in the Nile recalls Turner’s vaporous, romantic visions of Venice, and conveys a sense of faded power and crumbling prestige. In contrast to the ruined temples, a piercing ray of light appears to fall directly on the Christ child illuminating the new religion and the promise of salvation. The snake is a reference to Christ’s triumph over the original sin of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.

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National Museums NI’s Picture Library provides quality prints from our art, history and science collections. Featured collections include the Harland & Wolff Titanic photographs, the Welch photographs taken of Belfast in the early 1900’s and our extensive range of William Conor images from our art collection.

“Photographic quality digital prints” from original archive material are printed on premium semi-gloss photographic paper, weighing 251 g/m2. This high specification paper ensures prints are ideal for framing and hanging in your home or office.

Print sizes are 10” x 8“ and 20” x 16”. Some prints will vary from these sizes depending on the original format dimensions.