Glyn Warren Philpot
Repose on the Flight into Egypt 1922

Artwork details

Glyn Warren Philpot 1884–1937
Repose on the Flight into Egypt
Date 1922
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 749 x 1161 x 25 mm
Acquisition Purchased 2004
On display at Tate Britain
Room: 1910

Display caption

Philpot brings an unusual interpretation to the subject of the Holy Family resting on the flight into Egypt by incorporating mythological figures including three centaurs, a sphinx and a satyr. The Holy Family are oblivious to the pagan creatures that surround them and the painting is infused with a dream-like atmosphere. The satyr, posturing nude and phallic cactus plant in the foreground also allude to pagan myths of unrestrained sexuality, but the implication is that this will be replaced by the new religion of Christianity. This may represent an attempt by Philpot to reconcile his adopted Catholicism and his homosexuality.

October 2013

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