A landscape painting with blue sky, mountain ranges and a large river running through. In the foreground a red-cloaked figure rides a horse across a ridge, assisted by another figure in front.
Pieter Bruegel the Elder (around 1525-1569), Landscape with the Flight into Egypt, 1563, The Courtauld, London (Samuel Courtauld Trust) © The Courtauld

Landscape with the Flight into Egypt

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

In this captivating work, Pieter Bruegel depicts the biblical story of the Virgin Mary, Joseph and their infant son Jesus on their way to Egypt to flee persecution. He sets it within an imaginary, but distinctly European, landscape. The broad valley and dramatic peaks represent the long and arduous journey ahead. Remarkably for a such small picture, Bruegel created an epic setting packed full of fine details. In the left foreground, three men cross a precipice on a rickety bridge. On the right, a small idol tumbles from its shrine on a dead tree trunk, symbolising the end of pagan worship.

Perhaps made for the French politician and collector Cardinal Antoine Perrenot de Granvelle, this work was later owned by the artist Peter Paul Rubens.

Explore this painting in our virtual tour

This painting is on display in the Blavatnik Fine Rooms, Level 2 of The Courtauld Gallery. You can view this room from the comforts of your home through our virtual tour.

Launch tour
Photo of a wall hung with paintings

Watch a short film

You might also like

See more collection highlights

Explore The Courtauld’s remarkable collection of paintings, prints and drawings, sculpture and decorative arts.

Two men sit across from each other at a table covered with a brown tablecloth, playing cards. Both men wear overcoats and hats, and the man on the left smokes a pipe. They sit inside a wooden building. i Paul Cézanne (1839-1906) The Card Players, around 1892-96, The Courtauld, London (Samuel Courtauld Trust)