Studio Art Online
Italian School, 17th Century Style
The Infant Christ Appearing to Franciscan Friars. Unsigned, numbered "235" on the reverse. Oil on canvas, 29 1/4 x 17 3/4 in., framed. Condition: Lined, blistering paint along edges, paint losses, craquelure, varnish discoloration, grime beneath the varnish layer.
N.B. The iconography of this work is a mystery. The Infant Christ appeared to the Franciscans St. Anthony of Padua and St. Francis of Assisi, but individually. The friar on the left appears dark-skinned, suggesting possibly St. Benedict the Moor. Benedict the Moor is the patron saint of all African Americans in North and South America, and one of the saints of the city of Palermo in Sicily.
The son of freed Ethiopian slaves who lived in Sicily at the beginning of the 16th century, Benedict is remembered for his patience and understanding when confronted with racial prejudice and taunts.
Items may have wear and tear, imperfections, or the effects of aging. Any condition statement given, as a courtesy to a client, is only an opinion and should not be treated as a statement of fact. Skinner shall have no responsibility for any error or omission.