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Rest on the Flight into Egypt

With its emphasis on architecture—both real and imaginary—Viviano Codazzi’s paintings foreshadow the great vedute tradition of the eighteenth century, exemplified in the work of Canaletto, Piranesi, and Panini. Beginning in the Renaissance, the depiction of ancient ruins, in particular, became popular as archaeological excavations in Italy revealed more of the ancient world. An imagined ancient ruin is clearly the focus of this painting, despite its nominally biblical subject. Although it has been suggested that this painting might be by Codazzi’s son, Niccolò, a work matching the description of this piece appears on the 1692 inventory of Cardinal Flavio Chigi, one of Codazzi’s most important Roman patrons.

Attributed to Viviano Codazzi
Italian, ca. 1604–1670
Rest on the Flight into Egypt
ca. 1647–58
Oil on canvas
52 3/16 x 36 ½ in. (132.6 x 92.7 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Gift of Mrs. Dale Cox in memory of Forest Dale Cox, A. B. Economics, 1924 (born Bloomington), and Arthur E. Middlehurst, B. S. Architecture, Cornell, 1919 (born Vincennes), 74.46