A late 16th-century, probably Milanese, miniature reverse painted and gilt rock crystal devotional pendant depicting scenes of the Annunciation and a Saint in Contemplation. Set within its original gilt bronze pendant frame.
Approximate size: 6.5 x 5 cm
Reverse painted and gilt compositions on rock crystal comprise a highly technical virtuosity in which gold gilding was first applied to the interior of a polished crystal surface followed by painted tones in tempera or oil and sequentially rendered in a reverse process that first applied lighter colors followed by dark colors. Great vision and skill were required of the artists responsible for these fine miniatures whose tradecraft was centralized in Milan, a derivative of the talented illuminators who gathered under the court of the Sforza family during the end of the 15th century.
The master of this crystal may also be responsible for a stylistically comparable rock crystal flask in the Kunsthistorisches Musuem (Inv. KK 1394).
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