Indiana University Indiana University IU

Browse the collection

The Flight into Egypt

Artist Luca Giordano (Italian, 1634–1705)
Title The Flight into Egypt
Date Ca. 1670
Medium Oil on canvas
Dimensions Overall: 61 7/8 x 90 3/4 in. (157.2 x 230.5 cm)
Stretcher: 61 7/8 x 90 5/8 in. (157.2 x 230.2 cm)
Framed: 71 1/2 × 101 × 3 7/16 in. (181.6 × 256.5 × 8.7 cm)
Credit Line Gift of Mr. Nicholas Acquavella, Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University
Accession Number 75.123

Share this artwork!

About this Work

Luca Giordano, one of the most celebrated painters in seventeenth-century Naples, was famed for his theatrical style, characterized by dramatic color, lighting, and movement. In his depiction of the Flight into Egypt, the Holy Family boards a boat to cross a body of water. While artists typically showed the family traveling with a donkey or at rest, images of them proceeding by boat gained popularity in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Giordano may have painted this around 1670 in Venice, where a patron might have found the watery setting particularly appealing.

1975, Indiana University Art Museum purchase from Acquavella Galleries, New York

by 1965–1975, with Acquavella Galleries, New York [1]

probably after 1940, Collection of John Maher of Bloomfield House (died 1962), Enniscorthy, Ireland [2]

July 26, 1940, Sale, “Pictures by Old Masters, Decorative Furniture, Porcelain and Works of Art; The Property of the Rt. Hon. The Earl of Derby, K.G.,” Christie, Manson & Woods, London (lot. no. 11)

1723–1940, Collection of the Earls of Derby, Knowsley Hall, Prescot, England; Derby House, Stratford Place, London [3]


[1] Per undated informational sheet from Acquavella Galleries in curatorial files. Nicholas Acquavella (1898–1987) established Acquavella Galleries in 1921, which initially specialized in early Italian painting (per Frick Archives for the History of Collecting in America).

[2] Per undated informational sheet from Acquavella Galleries in curatorial files.

[3] James Stanley (1664–1736), tenth Earl of Derby, bought a significant number of the Old Master paintings that were once part of the Derby Collection. The Giordano painting was purchased for him in 1723 by his assistant, the painter and printmaker Hamlet Winstanley (1698–1756), who was sent that year to Italy to acquire art for the Earl’s collection. The painting, as well as the price paid for it by Winstanley, is listed in the 1801 Catalogue of paintings at Knowsley Hall compiled by Francis Charteris, entry no. 178, p. 17.

Provenance research is ongoing for this and many other items in the Eskenazi Museum of Art permanent collection. For more information about the provenance of this artwork, please contact the department curator with specific questions.

December 13, 1965–January 1, 1966, "The Christmas Story in Art," IBM Gallery, New York, NY

Viewing Information
This artwork is currently on view.


Request this Image
The Eskenazi Museum of Art provides images of its collection, free of charge, upon request. This artwork is under copyright protection. You can request the image and it will be emailed to you when the request is complete.

Cite this Page
"The Flight into Egypt | Collections Online." Collections Online. Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University, 2024.