This item is SOLD ***Magnificent Antique French Eighteenth Century Framed Silk and Paper Convent Work, Ste. Anne

This is an absolutely stunning convent work, fashioned from a copper plate engraving and exquisite fabrics. It originates from just outside of Paris and dates towards 1790.

This type of work was particular to convents of the period. The sisters took pieces of tattered books and donated clothes to produce incredibly detailed and clever works of devotional art. The painstaking technique of layering fabric and paper produced a fine painterly quality to the overall scene.

The foundation of this work is an eighteenth century copper plate engraving. This would have been taken from a book which was falling apart; the page would have been carefully removed and salvaged. Various elements from the design were hand cut, then worked back into original position. The paper images were embellished with beautiful fabrics and trim (which were bits of clothing donated by wealthy ladies of the period). Ste. Anne, the mother of the Virgin Mary (Saint Anne, of David's house and line, was the mother of Mary and grandmother of Jesus) is depicted with a young Mary as a cherub drops a crown of roses to grace the head of Mary. Mary's Father, Joachim, watches tenderly from the background.

The outlines of the dresses of Mary and Ste. Anne have been cut out from the engraving and placed over luscious silk fabric. The layering of three different off white silk patterns gives the clothing depth and realism. The cherub, faces and hands have been placed onto the fabric with a slight backing which make them appear in lifelike fashion. Bits of metallic braid accent the cherub and the clothing of the family. The background of the scene is of a green silk which has darkened in the top left corner, giving a pronounced appearance to the cherub. Framing the scene is a wide gilt metal/silk brocade braid with repeating arabesques and half globes. The frame is original; a wooden one which has been gilded (gilding cracked, darkened with age and use). The original paper still remains on the back, attached with original large tacks.

It measures: 8" x 11" (frame), 9" x 6" engraving/fabric scene. It is in amazing condition for the age and delicate materials. The glass shows no cracks or chips, frame intact (bottom left slight separation from heat/cold movement over time). Paper on back worn and uneven, darkened with age.

This is an authentic eighteenth century example. The beautiful scene, created by bits of paper and fabric have produced a magnificent piece of devotional art.

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