Remarkable Antique St. Fabiola Painted Miniature
A stunning example of the fine miniature portraiture that captivated art lovers from the 16th through 19th centuries. Very often these miniatures were painted in excruciating detail using full size portraits as reference images as part of a young artist's training, and it is no surprise that their scale continued to shrink from several inches in size down to the fine work seen across the antique brooches, pendants, and rings that feature them.
Despite the vivid blue veil that is so often associated with the Virgin Mary, we believe this to be a portrait of St. Fabiola, based on her similarities to the (often red-veiled) portraits of her that abound: the drape of the cloth, the cast of her eyes, the direct sideview of her profile, and the faintest locks of hair above her brow all line up with the imagery of the little-known saint. A nurse and matron of noblewomen in the Roman Empire, Saint Fabiola holds in her care many women who have suffered, as the patron saint of the widowed, the abused, and divorced women, as well as those who have experienced adultery and unfaithfulness.
Good antique condition with wear in line with age and use, including loss of much of the gold plating along the ring's shank. The portrait itself is in excellent condition, though there is wear and some loss to the epoxy holding it in place from the rear (though it is secure in the mount).
Keep in mind that while a varnish covers the surface of the portrait, care should be taken not to expose this ring to chemicals (including sanitizers, alcohols, strong soaps or cleaning supplies, etc).
• Gold plated base metal
• Size 6.75-7 (due to shape) and do not recommend resizing
• Hand pained miniature portrait
• Face of ring measures 14.3mm wide, 10.1mm across, with a rise of 2.6mm; back of band measures 2mm wide and 1.2mm thick