The Angel Appearing to Joseph in his Dream, Rembrandt van Rijn, c. 1650

The Angel Appearing to Joseph in his Dream, Rembrandt van Rijn, c. 1650

pen and brown ink, with opaque white; framing lines in dark brown ink (lower border) and pencil (left, upper and right border), h 187mm × w 188mm Catalogue entry

Shortly after Jesus’s birth, an angel appeared to Joseph in a dream, urging him to flee into Egypt with the Virgin and Child. Fearing the ‘King of the Jews’, the local ruler King Herod ordered all newly born boys to be killed. Rembrandt’s powers of observation are shown to best advantage here. Joseph, with his parted lips and entirely relaxed pose, is clearly sound asleep.

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