The Apparition of the Virgin and Child to Saint

Saint Fernando gazes upward, paying homage to a vision of the and Child floating on a pillow of clouds surrounded by winged . The arched top and the suggest that the artist planned a painted . The quick, loose strokes merely outlining the figures and the broadly applied alluding to their volume indicate that this preliminary drawing was made to work out the placement of the various characters. While the artist focused on the poses and gestures of the Virgin, Child, and saint, he ignored other, more intricate details. He simply suggested Jesus' features with a small dot for his eye and a single line indicating hair. Simple circles and arched lines suggest the heads and wings of the putti.

Pen and brown ink and brown wash over black chalk; squared in black chalk (about 1780s)

by Mariano Salvador Maella (Spanish, 1739-1819)

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