Rest during the Flight to Egypt
Jacopo Zucchi, a Florentine painter, was the protégé of Cardinal Ferdinand de Medicis in Rome. He represents the phase of late Mannerism which was the most excessive in its preciousness and in its quest for expressive oddities. The Toulouse painting is part of his more intimate production, destined for private devotion. It is painted on copper, a material which, although expensive, was often used for aristocratic commissions. In an unreal landscape vaguely evoking an imaginary Florence, Zucchi accumulated charming details such as the little Saint John taking water from the stream or the Child Jesus holding birds. In the foreground, flowers and animals play a purely decorative role.