Provincial Italian Folk Art Religious Icon

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A provincial Italian oil on tin depicting the Virgin Mary in a celestial environment. It’s an unusual little painting and probably the work of a devoted amateur artist that looked to create an icon for their own worship.

On the right of Our Lady is a ‘memento mori’, a reminder of our own Earthly mortality. While at her feet, you’ll notice a small animal - perhaps a pet that was close to the artist.

The primitive style of the painting reminds us of Mexican folk art retablos. These were often small works on tin that used religious iconography derived from Catholic church art.

Medium
Oil on tin
Size including frame
13½” x 9⅔” / 34.5cm x 24.5cm
Year of creation
c. 1800
Condition
Very tatty with various losses. Left as found.