Europe, Italy, ca. 18th to 19th century CE. This is an antique Nativity figure depicting the infant Jesus, hand carved from wood and hand painted. The painted details on the body are impressive, including inlaid glass brown eyes, painted brows, and delicate hands and feet. Works of devotional art have become very popular with collectors in recent years and are often featured in prestigious decor publications such as Architectural Digest and Veranda Magazine. Santos, carved wood painted with gesso, polychrome and in some cases gold "estodfado", are becoming increasingly difficult to find. The technical skills required to carve a wooden figure are quite great, as wood has a tendency to crack and be impacted by changes in the atmosphere. Furthermore, the texture of wood is quite challenging, and great skill is required to capture the subtleties of facial expressions and features. Size: 8-1/4"H x 3-1/2"W (21 cm x 9 cm).
Condition: Intact with minimal wear and chipping; several of the tiny, finely-carved fingers have broken off.
Provenance: Ex-private T. Jones collection, New York, NY.
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