This exceedingly attractive 18th century collage picture of Saint Anne is of European origin, most likely French. This devotional 'dressed print' was created in the 18th century using an earlier 17th century engraving (see the engravings of Johan von Achen (1552-1615). This 'dressed print' decorative art form was very popular during the first half of the 18th century. Known as Adorned or Dressed Prints, ancient engravings would be cut away using a very sharp knife tool leaving just a face or thin outer frame (a little like the lead work frame on stained glass window). Ornate velvet, silk and luxury gold and silver fabrics, colored paper and sometimes foil would then be inserted from behind. The engraved facial features would then be hand-painted and sometimes spangles and unusually in this case, straw work ornamentation applied as a floral border decoration. The embossed straw work border on our example is very rare.
The bird's-eye Maple veneered frame is a later 19th century addition but with its old wavy glass, we think that you will agree that it is very pleasing.
Measuring: Frame width 6.75 inch (17 cm) by height 7.75 inch (19.5 cm). Frame depth 1 inch (2.5 cm). Aperture width 4 inch (10 cm) by height 5 inch (12.5 cm).
Condition is very good considering it’s nearly 300 years. As mentioned the ancient woven silk fabrics have faded a little. The coated paper/ vellum ground again would probably been much brighter (probably blue), this has faded and appears as a soft grey. There are some minor losses to the straw work flowers.
Please note the items shown in the final image are not included.
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