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Some of the Paintings & Sculpture Available frome Valery Taylor Gallery

The Penitent Mary Magdalene

The Penitent Mary Magdalene - Antonio Bermejo

Peru, 17th Century
Oil on Canvas
Provenance: European Private Collection
28 3/4 X 36 1/4 Inches (73 X 92 cm)
Inscribed "MDL" with a Cross on a Castellano, Bottom Center

The manner in which our penitent Magdalene is depicted recalls the subject as painted by Titian in Italy. This closely resembles a version in the Museo de Arte de Lima, as each of the two versions displays its own type of delicacy.

Since the Council of Trent in 1563 decreed that depictions like this should be rendered sans exposed breasts, our version was almost certainly painted after the middle of the sixteenth century. This is despite what appears to be a date of 1550 in Roman numerals in the lower middle of the composition.

A well-known painting of Mary Magdalene in a vast landscape was painted by the artist Antonio Bermejo (b. Potosi, 1588) working in Peru, and is dated 1623. That rendition is after an engraving by Cornelis Galle I, itself after a design by Maarten de Vos (1532-1603).

St. John the Baptist Preaching

St. John the Baptist Preaching

Castile, Late 17th to Early 18th Century
Polychrome & Gilded Wood, Estofado
PROVENANCE: European Private Collection
54 X 23 X 16 Inches
Inscribed "MDL" (1550) in a Cartouche Bottom Center

The polychrome and gilding style of this sculpture indicates its origins in northern Spain. The strong and classicizing influence of sculptors like Gregorio Fernandez were a strong influence throughout the 17th and early 18th Centuries. Fernandez worked in and around Valladolid, north of Madrid. It is likely that our sculptor was active in the same region.

Circle of Giuseppe Sanmartino

Circle of Giuseppe Sanmartino

Naples C. 1720 to 1793
Christ of the Sacred Heart
Polychrome Wood with Glass Eyes
PROVENANCE: Private Collection, Southern Italy
29 Inches; Overall Dimensions with Base: H: 34 X W:17 X D:17 1/2 Inches

The robust and lively Child Jesus sits on a rockwork ground, one hand gesturing toward his Sacred Heart, and the other reaching out to the viewer, meant to be positioned slightly below him. Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus as the symbol of Christ's love for humanity has been noted in texts since the eleventh and twelfth centuries.

It appears that in the sixteenth century, the devotion took an onward step and passed from the domain of mysticism into that of Christian asceticism. Ascetic writers spoke of it, especially those of the Society of Jesus, Alvarez de la Paz, Luis de la Puente, Saint-Jure, and Nouet. There still exist special treatises upon it such as Father Druzbicki's (1662) small work, "Meta Cordium, Cor Jesu." Amongst the mystics and pious souls who practiced the devotion were St. Francis Borgia, Blessed Peter Canisius, St. Aloysius Gonzaga, and St. Alphonsus Rodríquez, all of the Society of Jesus.

Stylistically, the work bears strong similarities to sculptures by the fine Neapolitan artist Giuseppe Sanmartino. The sculptor's representation of the child as an earthy and human figure, rather than an idealized one, can also be seen in works like Sanmartino's Portrait Bust of Padre Ricco and his Cherubini and Mendicanti in terracotta.

The Virgin of the Seven Sorrows

The Virgin of the Seven Sorrows

Spanish, 19th Century
Seated, Dressed Figure of the Virgin Mary in a Vitrine
Figure: Carved & Polychrome Wood with Glass Eyes
Garments: Silk with Silver Thread Lace, Silk with Gold Thread, Gold Thread Tassels, Cotton with Lace
Silver Accoutrements
Cut-Crystal/Wire/Metal Chandeliers
Wood Neoclassical Case with Antique Glass Windows
Seated Figure: 24 X 11 1/2 X 9 Inches
Vitrine Dimensions: 41 X 19 5/8 X 15 3/4 Inches
Overall Height of Vitrine with Gilded Sunburst: 49 1/2 Inches

In Spanish and Hispanic art, the Virgin is often depicted with seven swords or daggers piercing her breast, known as the Seven Sorrows of the Virgin. The Sorrows are (1) at the prophecy of Simeon; (2) at the flight into Egypt; (3) having lost the Holy Child at Jerusalem; (4) meeting Christ on his way to Calvary; (5) standing at the foot of the Cross; (6) Jesus being taken from the Cross; and (7) at the burial of Christ.

The sculpture represents the Virgin Mary in her role as the most powerful Intercessor with Christ. As another important component of late medieval spirituality, it is the belief that Mary is an intercessor who offers prayers to Christ on behalf of the faithful. Mary's intimate relationship with Christ as mother and her high status as queen of heaven made her the perfect spiritual advocate. Christians believed that her intercession affected miracles because as a dutiful son, Christ could hardly refuse her wishes.

The present work is a classic Spanish imagen de vestir, the phrase that describes a sculpture intended to be clothed in garments of real cloth. For that reason, the detailed modeling centers around the face, hands, and feet. The rest of the body underneath the garments was usually not finished with full carving and polychrome because it was never visible. The creation of these statues-to-be-dressed follows time-honored traditions. It's likely that the tradition began in Spain in the twelfth century or earlier.

Spanish penitential confraternities were by no means the first groups to employ, or even commission, a sculpture that was meant specifically to be carried in procession. Nonetheless, it may be said that the penitential confraternities, especially those of Seville and Andalusia refined and perfected the art of processional sculpture bringing it to its highest point of expression in both form and function. This type of figure was so effective that it was widely adopted throughout Spain's colonies in the New World.

It was the custom to adorn the dressed figures with rich and elaborate garments, sometimes ex-votos, lavish silver accouterments and other props (for example, the crystal chandeliers inside the case, flanking the Dolorosa). Some statues had entire wardrobes fashioned for them by nuns or faithful parishioners who commissioned fine silks, laces, and embroideries.

Their outfits might frequently be changed, depending on the feast day or solemn commemorations like Holy Week. These cult figures are truly mixed-media objects, and they evolved with the times. The chandeliers made for the present Dolorosa were fitted with electrical plugs so the vitrine could be illuminated with incandescent light. Many objects like the present Dolorosa were carried in procession, either in their cases or out of them, and then stored inside the vitrine in a church, convent, or even a private home.

Workshop of Alonso Berruguete

Workshop of Alonso Berruguete

Spanish, C. 1480 to1561
The Holy Face of Christ with Veronica's Veil
Tabernacle Door
C. 1550
Polychromed & Gilded Wood, Estofado
15 1/3 X 19 1/4 X 4 Inches (37 X 49 X 10 cm)

Attributed to Jose de Ibarra

Attributed to Jose de Ibarra

Guadalajara 1685 to 1756 Mexico City
St. Joseph with the Christ Child
Oil on Canvas
32 7/8 X 25 1/2 Inches (83.5 X 65 cm), & Framed 36 3/4 X 29 1/4 Inches

Virgin of Mercy

Virgin of Mercy

Ecuador, Late 18th to Early 19th Century
23 1/2 X 17 1/2 Inches (59.5 X 44 cm); Framed Size 28 X 22 1/2 Inches

Angels Adoring the Custodio, with St. Catherine of Siena and St. Barbara

Angels Adoring the Custodio, with St. Catherine of Siena and St. Barbara

Cuzco School, Late 17th to Early 18th Century
Oil on Canvas
40 1/5 X 31 Inches (102 X 79 cm); Framed Size 43 1/2 X 34 Inches (110.5 X 86.4 cm)