Escape to Egypt by Giotto

Escape to Egypt by Giotto

Fleeing from the massacre in Bethlehem by King Herod, the Holy Family travels to Egypt.

This work Giotto – a real masterpiece of the compositional organization. The movement consisting of several figures of the procession unfolds along the plane of the foreground. Our view is easy and without interference enters the composition, obeying the direction of the movement of the leftmost boy.

Then, following the gesture of his hand, he smoothly moves to the diagonal line of the donkey’s harness, on which the Mother of God sits, and finally, on the same ascending trajectory, comes to its extreme right point where the artist places Joseph’s head. That is, the visual reading of the composition is facilitated by the fact that Giotto has already outlined in advance all trajectories for the movement of our view.

A finely organized spatial rhythm of the scene contributes to the overall impression of clarity and a distinctive artistic order. According to Giotto’s unchanging principle of distinguishing the main, the image of the figure of the Mother of God occupies a central place in it, the outlines of which are repeated in the outline of the rock placed in the background.

The free and empty space on the sides of Mary visually articulates her dominant position in the composition, while at the same time allows to mask the difference in scale between her figure and the figures of the other participants of this procession.

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