An unusual provincial depiction of the Virgin Mary cradling the dead body of Jesus following the crucifixion. This scene is referred to as a ‘pietà’, which translates from Italian as ‘pity’ or ‘compassion’.

It’s a subject that’s been painted many times since the advent of Christianity with the most famous occurrence being a Renaissance sculpture by Michelangelo Buonarroti, which is housed at St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City.

This particular painting was probably created by an amateur artist as a devotional piece for worship in the home or church. It’s beautifully rendered and highly evocative with our lady holding her son like a newborn.

The painting is housed within a gilded swept frame with central and corner ornamentation. Dated in the upper left.

Oil on canvas laid on board
Size including frame
11½” x 13⅔” / 29cm x 35cm
Year of creation
c. 1814
The canvas has darkened over the years and accumulated craquelure throughout.