The Flight into Egypt (altered from Tobias and the Angel by Hercules Segers), 1653

Not on Viewexpand_more

Note the tight texture of the foliage on the left. It hardly looks like the work of Rembrandt, and indeed, it is not. It is the work of Hercules Seghers, a highly experimental printmaker who captured Rembrandt's imagination. Rembrandt was so taken with Seghers's art that he obtained one of his etched printing plates. In an act of creative vandalism, Rembrandt partially effaced the plate, removing Seghers' figures of Tobias and his guardian angel. He then transformed the image into one of the Holy Family on its flight into Egypt. Look closely to find traces of the angels' wings.

When the three wise men reported the birth of "King of the Jews" to King Herod, the king launched a plot to exterminate his infant rival. An angel warned Joseph in a dream, so Joseph led his family out of Herod's dominion and into Egypt. The subject fascinated Rembrandt, and he depicted it frequently.

The Flight into Egypt (altered from Tobias and the Angel by Hercules Segers)
Artist Life
1606 - 1669
Accession Number
Catalogue Raisonne
Hind 266 vi/vii; Holl.56 vi/vii; B.56; Mz.216; Hollstein vi/vii
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

Does something look wrong with this image? Let us know

Zoom in on the left to the detail you'd like to save. Click 'Save detail' and wait until the image updates. Right click the image to 'save image as' or copy link, or click the image to open in a new tab.