English Needlework “The Flight to Egypt”

English Needlework “The Flight to Egypt”


75.5 x 65.5 cm (incl. frame)


This English needlework depicts the Holy Family’s flight to Egypt.

Mary and the baby child sit on a donkey; they are wrapped up in a light blue cloak. Joseph leads the donkey through a landscaped area marked out by diagonals in the foreground and rounded hillocks in the background. The family are framed by two trees, as is the group of flat-roof buildings in the background. The colour scheme is one of soft browns and yellows, shades of blues and very subtle reds, the latter mostly in the form of a blanket (or an apron?) hanging from the belt around Joseph’s coat. This accentuates the central group and the subject of the scene and is a clever compositional device.

Worked in silk and wool, the needlework dates to the second half of the eighteenth century. It  is signed and dated “Mary Parker Fecit 1763” (the date could also be read as 1769).

The textile is in very good condition, with the colours still fresh. It has been framed in a contemporary wooden frame which is in keeping with the style of the needlework.