some personal views for Catholic readers
The window on the left looks typical of the Catholic Low Countries. The tomb on the left also looks Flemish, seventeenth century, and the hanging over the stalls also seems to point to the Low Countries.The picture itself looks about 80 years old to judge from the clothes.I would look somewhere like Bruges, Ghent, Liege or Brussels as possibilities.
I came across this"Henry Schafer (flourished 1865-1900)A noted popular artist of the late nineteenth century, Henry Schafer was well known for his street scenes and church interior studies. He painted widely throughout Europe, but is mainly noted for his work in France and Belgium, where his scenes are widely collected by private collectors and museums.The style is similar"http://www.powerpos.com/cfa/images/0017full.jpg
Any idea who the artist is? Characters depicted in the background? When it was painted? I'd be particularly interested in the grouping of lay people at the far right center - the couple with the child, for instance. A nobleman or prominent family's child being baptized? Perhaps the painting was commissioned by them?
I'm pretty sure it's San Marco in Venice, in the baptistery, which lies on the south side of the basilica, to the east of the Cappella Zen (the narthex wraps round the western arm of the church, and the baptistery and Zen chapel occupy the bays on the south). I don't have time now to find a pic, though.
PS Judging from a plan I have, the picture must be looking west, towards the Cappella Zen. So if you walked to the end and turned right, you'd be in the main, western narthex of San Marco. Very nice pic, but you will have to add the cost of a trip to Venice to the purchase price!
I have no idea where it might be, Father, but I think you should buy it - if possible - to appraise at your leisure (!). You could casually coat-trail it past an art expert and find that it is a long lost masterpiece, whose resale would fund at least some of the work on St. M. Mag's.Ho hum. Dream on.
Most likely to be S Marco in Venice?http://www.flickr.com/photos/39911172@N08/3715495720/
It looks like the baptistry of St Mark's Venice to me.
My guess (but I don't have any material here to back it up) would be the Baptistery of St Mark's in Venice, which is normally closed to visitors.
The Baptistery of Saint Mark's Venice
Father, I too have seen this painting. Regret that am unable to help in identification, but can you tell me what the centre-piece is? It cannot be an altar, perhaps it is a font of some sort? Have you any ideas? Thanks.
If it is St Mark's Venice, then it confirms my sense that the figure in the gold chasuble is the then Patriarch, Giuseppe Sarto - ie, Pope Pius X - and this is apicture of the Holy Saturday liturgy in St Mark's during his tenure of the See.
I agree with Physiocrat that the dressing on the stalls looks typically Flemish, and certainly some of the foreground right figures appear quite Belgian to me; one bears a striking resemblance to pictures of my great-uncle Alphonse but that's beside the point... I can see the painting has that keen Flemish attention to detail, but the colours and ceiling decoration look very Mediterranean. It certainly has a very Venetian feel to it. It's very restful to focus on the central font before you realise what a deceptively busy painting it is. I hope you find it / can afford it Father Ray!
It certainly is the baptistry of St Mark's in Venice.Another interesting question is: "what is going on?"The scene looks as if it's attempting to depict the blessing of the baptismal water on Holy Saturday, but the scene does not conform to the rubrics, so perhaps it's a sort of liturgical capriccio.
Unfortunately it went for £600, which is much more than I was able to offer, it is some by someone call del Don who was active in the 19th cent.I must say I too am curious what is happening.
Aw, too bad Father Ray. You weren't involved in some kind of bidding war were you now?@Edward:liturgical capriccio? Wow. I like that; I have to somehow work that into a posting or conversation someday.
Here's another (although less interesting) picture of St Mark's Baptistry, almost certainly the same place as your picture:(see Lot 170):http://www.auction-net.co.uk/viewAuction.php?id=987&offset=150
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