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Massacre of the innocents

Painting, 1611, 142×182 cm

Description of the artwork «Massacre of the innocents»

Rubens spent the years 1600-1608 years in Italy and Spain, where he immersed himself in the world of classical art and the art of Renaissance After his return to Antwerp, inspired by the works of the old Masters,he paints a series of paintings on religious and mythological themes.

In the London National gallery exhibited one of the most expensive paintings in the world - "the massacre of the innocent", which describes the well – known biblical event-the massacre of infants by king Herod.
It is reported that the painting was in the collection of the Museum is temporarily on the good will of its owner, media Mogul David Thomson, who bought it in 2002 for 49.5 million pounds at auction.
The Museum also hopes that this work of Rubens will be publicly available for another three years.

The massacre of the innocents (Matt., 2:16). In the time of Christ's birth Herod the Great learned of the birth of the Baby, who was destined to become "king of the Jews", and fearing that his own power thus becomes usurped, ordered to kill all infants in Bethlehem and its vicinity.

But the Holy Family, warned by the angel, by this time had already fled to a safe place (Flight into Egypt).

The scene represents a garden in the Palace of Herod. Soldiers with naked swords to rip babies from the arms of their mothers, weeping, and bitterly opposed to violence. The ground is strewn with dead bodies.

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About the artwork

Art form: Painting

Subject and objects: Genre scene, Religious scene

Style of art: Baroque

Technique: Oil

Materials: Wood

Date of creation: 1611

Size: 142×182 cm

Artwork in selections: 10 selections

Exhibitions history
Early rubens
October 12, 2019 − January 5, 2020