Sculpted Basswood Relief Panel of a Penitent Saint
A remarkable incuse, deeply-worked, wood panel depicting a penitent female saint.
Approximate size: 44.1 x 31.7 (without frame)
This challenging relief sculpture is avantgarde with its deeply set composition, offering a fantastic and theatrical sensibility uncommon to the medium.
A general parallel can be drawn with sculptors of the Danube region of 16th century Germany where such natural vegetation is emphasized and given a prominent role in such compositions and in a locale where many masters worked in the medium of woodcarving.
At first glance, the subject follows expected depictions of the Penitent Mary Magdalene. However, the fiery nimbus around her head and the feature of a whip in her hand may possibly suggest a depiction of St. Catherine of Sienna. If the later is true, this could also possibly be a unique Italian work, perhaps of a later, 18th century dating.
Regardless, the incredible craftsmanship of the relief is managed by a well-abled and experienced master with a strong sense of design.
Condition: Commensurate with age. Possibly re-stained at a later date. Holes to reverse filled by old canvas repairs. Set within a handsome modern frame.