The Three Marys at the Tomb
(255 x 249 mm., initial 196 x 190 mm.)
France, probably Paris, c. 1900 (?)
This miniature typifies the work of the Spanish Forger. In a large initial “O,” or perhaps “D” (note the ascender of the letter at the upper left), three women holding ointment jars and decked with haloes approach an angel seated on a tomb. Behind them appears a quite lavish fairy-tail castle. The initial itself is composed of elaborate acanthus and white-dot tracery decoration; on a burnished gold ground.
The present miniature demonstrates the Forger’s methods of working. Scientific analyses of his paintings disclose the presence of green copper arsenite, which was not available before 1814. Except for minor crackling of the gold (perhaps intentional) and the reinforcement of the margins with strips of paper, the miniature is in bright, fresh condition.