This is an absolutely stunning, one of a kind, quite special 1930s large format mural painting from a Chicago church sanctuary, painted by Czech-American ecclesiastical mural and fresco iconographer John A. Mallin (1884-1973). The painting is a partial piece of the full sanctuary mural that was rescued and restored from its original home of St. Basil's Catholic church in the Back of the Yards neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois. The church was razed in 1998. The original painting can be viewed on page 8 of St. Basil's original brochure, available at the archival website for the artist's numerous works.
The painting was originally done on the east wall of the Byzantine style church, encapsulating a gorgeous central east-facing stained glass medallion window, and depicting Christ handing the keys to the kingdom of heaven to St. Peter and all the disciples. The portion of the painting here depicts three of the apostles, two standing and one kneeling. The original painting has been professionally restored by the Chicago Conservation Center; the conservation work included adhering new canvas to the verso of the original painting in order to strengthen the weakened original support. The conservators added segmented wooden stretcher frames in order to allow more compact transport of the piece, and to allow for dynamic yet even preservation of the structural integrity, accounting for varying humidity levels and ambient conditions.
The painting is in excellent vintage restored condition, with wear consistent with age, use, and restoration efforts. There is paint loss and craquelure throughout, and the restoration effort has excellently maintained the integrity of the warmth and color relationships original to the artist's vision. The top left corner and the canvas edges have some minor soiling consistent with age.
The painting measures 123 inches long and 97 inches wide.
Another brief and interesting history of St. Basil's church can be found at WBEZ's website.
1930s Original Chicago Church Sanctuary Painting of Catholic Saints Classical Style Fine Oil on Canvas Religious Iconography Mural