Small portrait of a nun in religious habit. Oil on canvas adhered to wood panel, probably in the 19th century. A detailed study of the work suggests that this portrait was once part of a larger work. Good general condition, some crackling, and traces of subsequent touch-ups. Superior quality unsigned work, attributed to Philippe de Champaigne's workshop, as indicated by a label on the back of the 19th century wooden frame.
Philippe de Champaigne (Brussels, 1602 - Paris, 1674). French painter of Brabant origin. He trained in Brussels, but in 1621 he moved to Paris and a few years later became a French national. He was the most famous and brilliant portraitist of seventeenth-century France, serving Louis XIII, Marie de Medici and Cardinal Richelieu. Several religious works are also attributed to him, especially for the Jansenist convent of Port-Royal, a sect that strongly influenced him towards the end of his life, as well as his daughter who was a nun in this convent. In his later years, the dominant note of his style was austerity.
Like many great painters such as Rubens, Rembrandt or Raphael, Philippe de Champaigne was surrounded by collaborators to carry out the numerous and often ambitious orders entrusted to him. With unwavering principles and strong convictions, this school was not only a workshop but a place of sharing that Jean-Baptiste de Champagne, the nephew, and his friend Nicolas de Plattemontagne regularly attended. These two zealous collaborators were initiated in the manner of the master, until they could imitate his style to perfection.
Source: À l'école de Philippe de Champaigne – plusieurs auteurs, 2007.
Artist: Unknown (unsigned).
Medium: Oil on canvas, on wood panel
Condition: Good condition.
Dimensions: 31 x 25.5 cm. / 12 ¼ x 10 in. (visible).
Frame: 38 x 32 cm. / 15 x 12 1/2 in. Wood, ebony and gold trim, 19th century.