The attribution is due to Aidan Weston-Lewis to whom we are grateful.
Pietro de Lignis was born in Flanders but moved to Rome in 1599, being recorded as a member of the Accademia di San Luca there in 1607. De Lignis' style recalls that of other northern artists working in Rome at this date: the landscape in the present painting is reminiscent of Paul Bril and the detailed painting technique demonstrates a knowledge of Adam Elsheimer and Carlo Saraceni's small paintings on copper.
Very few works by the artist are known and this painting may be closely compared to two other signed pictures by De Lignis: the first, an Adoration of the Magi in the Museo del Prado, Madrid, which is signed and dated "Pietro de Lignis fiamengo in Roma 1616", is on a copper plate of identical dimensions;1 and the second, also signed and on copper, showing The Martyrdom of Saint Catherine of Alexandria, was sold in these Rooms, 25 May 1988, lot 126. The present painting was most probably executed in Rome, some time during the second decade of the 17th century.
1. 70 by 54 cm.; see M. Diáz Padrón, Museo del Prado. Catálogo de Pinturas. I. Escuela Flamenca. Siglo XVII, Madrid 1975, p. 174, no. 1556, reproduced plate 122.
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