Looking at the bold colors of the artist, can sometimes give you a clue. Brights reds and blues, I think is Europe.
", when intended to be light-stable, were horribly expensive before the proliferation of synthetic dyes in the 19th Century. For millennia before then, pigments were low-tech, e.g., pulverized minerals or other natural materials, notably for blue: the decorative mineral lapis lazuli, and for red: either the toxic mineral cinnabar (i.e., sulfide of mercury), or preparations of Old- or New-World scale insects. It might seem intolerable to readers accustomed to their RGB
computer-monitors, but low-tech light-stable colors did not provide a palette
that offered the artist the complete spectrum of colors.
So it is plausible that the combination of choices made for assorted colorful objects in a picture could dramatically narrow the possible locales and time-periods.
Be that as it may, perhaps we needn't appeal to art-historians; the picture seems already to be credited:
The Blessings of Mary
Taken from A GARLAND FOR OUR LADY
Irish Ursulines, 1920 with IMPRIMATUR
Jesus is shown with infant-orange hair
, and Mary is shown with medium-brownish hair that seems to my eyes to have reddish undertones, as if it had, um, matured from obviously redder
hair during her childhood. Wouldn't such a picture be very congenial to the Irish
faithful? Furthermore, this is yet another picture of a descendant of the House
of (King) David
who has a long straight nose
. Which reminds me of the sarcastic line in the 1970s film Cabaret
"She doesn't /
look Jewish /
So I'm confused. Is there some compelling reason to reject the simple assumption that the picture-of-interest might be a color illustration--maybe a frontispiece
complete with tissue paper--in exactly the Irish
book already identified? Might it have been printed entirely with spot-color
(e.g., as used for (at least some) color plates in the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica
), which is far better adapted to accurate digital scanning, archiving, and (re)printing than the far-less expensive--thus far more widespread--screened 4-color (CMYK) process?