St. Mary of Egypt
St. Mary of Egypt Going to the Desert
This painting, as the counterpart and complement to the Vision of St Mary of Egypt, portrays the Saint as a barefoot, penitent woman with three loaves of bread in her arms and a cross in her hand leaving for the desert to expiate her sins. The artist makes use of this biblical theme to paint a spacious Campanian landscape with a small Italian town, a shepherd and a herd of cattle in the background.
The principle of diagonal composition is consistently applied to direct the gaze into the depth. The sky with its alternating light and clouds of evening symbolises the Saint's spiritual condition. The painting is integrated by the pervasive brown hue which blends the figures into nature. The swift brush-strokes, the rapid alternation of light and dark, and the Baroque movement of figures in many directions are remarkable.