The Most Representative Painting of the Baroque Period

One of the paintings that best represents the Baroque period would have to be the Flight into Egypt, which was painted in 1597 by Caravaggio. The Baroque period distinguished itself by adding modern images to biblical historical scenes and in this painting Caravaggio demonstrates his great ability to do just that.

This painting does not represent just one biblical scene, but a combination of many of the bibles stories that involve the fleeing of the Holy family into Egypt, to avoid the ire of Herod, who was trying to kill the Christ child.  In the painting Caravaggio chose to paint Mary asleep with the baby Jesus, and Joseph stands holding a manuscript that is given to him by the angel. The manuscript represents the modern man.  The angel stands to the side and is singing a hymn to Mary on the violin, the violin being an instrument of the 1600s and non existent during Christ’s period.

By adding features like the violin and the manuscript Caravaggio has managed to make this biblical story more modern, something that the Baroque man can identify with. This was Caravaggio’s first large scale work, the painting epitomizes the Baroque period because of the nature of the work, the tones, the shift in dark and light shadowing, and the realistic modern subjects. Much of Caravaggios work ranks among the highest as representative of the Baroque period. It is a shame that he was only able to work for about 10 years before being killed.

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