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18th Century Italian School

Early 18th Century Italian School 'Jesus Talks with the Samaritan Woman at the Well' and 'Cupid Showing Psyche the Misconduct of Adonis'

Two astonished female characters are the subjects of the narration in these pair of minute but charming antique Italian paintings.

In one we recognise the mythological figure of Psyche, characterised by the attribute of the jar, held in her left hand, acting surprised after learning from Cupid that her beloved Adonis has drifted apart from her. He is not pictured in the scene, but the observer can deduce his presence someplace towards where the winged boy’s finger is pointing.

A biblical parable is depicted in the pendant picture, where Jesus meets a woman by a well, a famous episode told in the gospel of John, according to which the Saviour reveals himself as such to the Samaritan lady (“Those who drink the water that I will give them will never be thirsty” John 4:4–42), therefore unveiling her the truth of the new faith.

If our interpretations are correct, the revelation of truth –however of different kinds- is the common theme that subtends the diptych.

The surname “Poggiolini” is inscribed to verso on each panel, and it might refer to previous ownership, whereas there seems to be no trace of a painter going by this name. Its diffusion in the Peninsula irradiates mainly in the Regions of Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna, probably not far from where these paintings were conceived and executed in the early Seventeen Hundreds.

Offered with a modest estimate of £1000 for the pair, we believe these would make an exquisite addition to any antiquities collector’s possessions.

- Daniela Guardiani

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