(French, c. 1565-1617)
Gouache and watercolor, heightened with gum arabic, with shell gold framing lines, on vellum, mounted on paper, vellum, and wood
Framed: 27.5 x 20.5 cm (10 13/16 x 8 1/16 in.)
Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 2011.2
It is difficult to overstate the singularity of this work in 17th-century England. While the image has visual sources in works by Rubens and Federico Barocci, surely known to the cosmopolitan artist (who travelled to Italy, unusually for English artists at this moment), the object is iconographically unique. Oliver places a tender Virgin and Child (itself more closely linked to Catholic instead of Protestant imagery), in a heavenly, visionary setting, and incorporates the medieval iconography of the lactating Virgin with the Salvator Mundi, early Netherlandish in origin, but more commonly an Italian typology by the early seventeenth century.
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