Pier Francesco MOLA (Coldrerio 1612 - Rome 1666)

Landscape with the Flight into Egypt Sold

Pen and brown ink and brown wash, with touches of white heightening, over an underdrawing in red chalk.
Framing lines in black chalk, and the sheet backed.
266 x 197 mm. (10 1/2 x 7 3/4 in.)

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The theme of the Flight into Egypt was one that Pier Francesco Mola treated in at least five paintings and several drawings, although to be more exact the subject depicted in his canvases was almost always the Rest on the Flight, with the Virgin and Child seated on the ground. While no painting by Mola of the Flight into Egypt (as distinguished from the Rest on the Flight) survives today, the subject occurs in several drawings by the artist, a common feature of which is a particular emphasis on the landscape setting. Drawings by Mola of The Flight into Egypt include sheets in the Musée des Beaux-Arts et d’Archéologie in Besançon, the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Lille, the Princeton Art Museum and the British Museum, while another example is in a private collection in Paris. Each of these drawings, however, differs from the present sheet in being horizontal in format. A drawing of The Flight into Egypt in the Louvre comes closer to the present sheet in orientation, although with significant differences in composition.

The present sheet is a particularly fine and fresh example of Mola’s spirited draughtsmanship. Among stylistically comparable drawings by Mola is a Rest on the Flight in the Teylers Museum in Haarlem.

Pier Francesco MOLA

Landscape with the Flight into Egypt

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