Just the most fabulous religious painting ever in our collection, antique oil on fabric canvas, we believe to be St Mary Magdalene, artist unknown to us, painted with the finest artistic technique. Sold to us as the Virgin Mary, but out research shows this to be Mary Magdalene The face and hands are literally luminous, the lips and eyeballs truly out of this world. It was purchased by a friend of ours in the south of France several years ago, believed to be French but definitely European, the fabric on which she is painted appears hand woven, we find no signature. Above the figure there is a change in colors in the background which may indicate this was at one time in a frame or Church niche that had the curved cathedral top, but this is a guess. There is an old tear or cut down from the left of her neck area in the clothing part to around her hand, approx 10" long, and no it does not show up in the photos, it has been very well repaired using the wax and fabric technique. We also see two tiny near microscopic holes several inches to the right of the repair from age. Mild age crackling on the painted surface, mostly in the garment and background area. The painting on her face and hands is in very good condition. This painting is from circa 1820 with a possibility it could date back to the late 1700's. The frame is also from the early 1800's. This is one of those rare paintings that even in low lighting will light up a room, the face just amazing. It measures 29" tall by 21 & 1/8" wide framed, with the visible canvas size 24" by 16 & 5/8". Due to value this will be professionally packed and shipped with cost to be determined by address. This painting is unsigned, which frankly does not bother us at all, as many of the finest paintings of past centuries bear no signatures at all. As with any unsigned painting of such merit, we have tried to find any clues as to the maker or school of art from which this came as well as to identify the subject of the painting. In our research we came across a famous artist named Guido Reni (1575-1642) in a painting of Mary Magdalene which has some similarities to this one in both style and technique, most of his paintings now in museums including the Walters Art Museum. Upon searching for more of his works, we found his painting of the Virgin Mary, which matched ours even closer as to style and technique, plus the fact his techniques inspired a true "school" of art. Our painting does indeed bear resemblance to his style and might be associated with an artist in this school of work. What is definitely not in question at all is the age and fine artistic quality of this painting. Serious reasonable offers considered.
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