This painting shows the flight of Mary, Joseph, and the infant Jesus into Egypt. Robert Loftin Newman was very close to his mother, and he painted many subjects that emphasized the bond between mother and child. He never knew his father, however, and in this painting the figure of Joseph appears only as an indistinct figure in the shadows to the right. (Landgren, Robert Loftin Newman, 1827-1912, 1974) The atmospheric colors and indistinct shapes evoke the “new spirit” of American art that emerged toward the end of the nineteenth century.
Smithsonian American Art Museum