16th/17th Century Oil on Canvas painting of St John the Baptist and Agnes Dei


Stylistically 16th century, we will be conservative as usual, and allow it may be 17th century. It is certainly well before 1700. The oil on deliciously wavy hand loomed canvas has been relined: glued or marouflaged onto a newer canvas. The newer canvas (and stretcher) in this case is 19th century, so the restoration was done long ago. There has been a subsequent small repair done where the canvas may have been pierced. The painting shows a chubby infant communing with a lamb in a landscape. Should the viewer fail to instantly recognise the subject matter, a riband banner lower right proclaims "Ecce Agnes Dei": Here is the Lamb of God. Jesus is the Lamb of God, having been thus referred to by John the Baptist (John 1:29).

The stretcher is 49.5 cm by 64 cm. The frame, ancient and possibly original with idiosyncratic corner adjustments is 78 cm by 65.5 cm.

The charming Old Master  employs strong chiarascuro, thrusting the pale infant and lamb forward, against a dark and brooding background.

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