The Art of the Sublime

Richard Dadd The Flight out of Egypt 1849–50

Richard Dadd 'The Flight out of Egypt' 1849-50
Full screen
Richard Dadd 1817–1886
The Flight out of Egypt 1849–50
Oil paint on canvas
support: 1010 x 1264 mm; frame: 1255 x 1515 x 100 mm
Purchased 1947
Tate N05767
Untitled by the artist, this painting is a gathering of experiences witnessed by Dadd while travelling in the Near East (1842–3). In a letter of 1842, Dadd revealed his elation and confusion: ‘the excitement of these scenes has been enough to turn the brain of an ordinary weak-minded person like myself, and often I have lain down at night with my imagination so full of wild vagaries that I have really and truly doubted my own sanity.’ The journey may have hastened his mental decline. On his return, believing the Egyptian Gods required a sacrifice, he murdered his father.

How to cite

Richard Dadd, The Flight out of Egypt 1849-50, in Nigel Llewellyn and Christine Riding (eds.), The Art of the Sublime, January 2013, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/the-sublime/richard-dadd-the-flight-out-of-egypt-r1105541, accessed 22 December 2014.