Madonna and Child (c.1670). Carlo Cignani (Italian, 1628-1719). Oil on copper.

This tender Madonna and Child beautifully displays the soft, reflective manner for which Cignani was held in such high regard by his contemporaries. His ability to depict children reflects the Bolognese classicist tradition from which he emerged. His figures are distinguished by their soft skin, doe-eyed features, and carefully composed embraces in which the Infant Jesus hangs his head away from the Madonna while she reads.

The Penitent Magdalen (1685-90). Carlo Cignani (Italian, 1628-1719). Oil on canvas. Dulwich Picture Gallery.

The French tradition is that Mary Magdalene came to Marseille and converted the whole of Provence. Mary Magdalene is said to have retired to a cave on a hill by Marseille, La Sainte-Baume, where she gave herself up to a life of penance for thirty years.

Diana and Endymion

Carlo Cignani, Italian, 1628 - 1719

c. 1700
Brush and brown wash, heightened with white opaque watercolor, black chalk, and gray opaque watercolor, on blue laid paper

Philadelphia Museum of Art