Collection Online
Medium
oil on wood panel
Measurements
47.8 × 64.9 cm
Accession Number
2005.245
Department
International Painting
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased through the NGV Foundation with the assistance of the proceeds of the Fundraising Dinner at NGV International, 2005
Gallery location
17th Century & Flemish Paintings Gallery
Level 2, NGV International
Provenance

Richter collection, Dresden, prior to 1953 collection appropriated by the German Democratic Government (GDR), 1953 collection of the Dresden Gemaldegalerie, 1953, inv no. 53/139 3522 restituted to Rudolf Erich Richter, 2002 at auction Sotheby's, London, 8 July 2004, no. 119 purchased by Woolhara Trading Co. (dealer), 2004 from where acquired by the NGV, 2005.



About
Herman van Swanevelt travelled to Rome in the mid to late 1620s, where he met with great success, receiving several commissions from the Barberini family and the Vatican, among others. Swanevelt’s style developed into an intriguing amalgam of well-observed naturalism in the Dutch manner and Italian classicism. This is especially evident in his highly idealised compositions and use of golden light. The widely travelled Swanevelt influenced an international field of painters, including the great landscape artist Claude Lorrain. In this painting of an impending storm, the family hurrying with a donkey may allude to the biblical story of the Holy Family seeking refuge in Bethlehem.