The Virgin Mary, Oil Painting on Copper, 16th/17th Century, From The Treasures of The Royal Abbey at Fontevraud Auctioned in 1790
The Virgin Mary, Oil Painting on Copper, 16th/17th Century, From The Treasures of The Royal Abbey at Fontevraud Auctioned in 1790
The Virgin Mary, Oil Painting on Copper, 16th/17th Century, From The Treasures of The Royal Abbey at Fontevraud Auctioned in 1790
The Virgin Mary, Oil Painting on Copper, 16th/17th Century, From The Treasures of The Royal Abbey at Fontevraud Auctioned in 1790

The Virgin Mary, Oil Painting on Copper, 16th/17th Century, From The Treasures of The Royal Abbey at Fontevraud Auctioned in 1790

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The Virgin Mary, Oil Painting on Copper, 16th/17th Century, From The Treasures of The Royal Abbey at Fontevraud Auctioned in 1790 Extremely Rare

The Royal Abbey of Our Lady of Fontevraud or Fontevrault (in French: abbaye de Fontevraud) was a monastery in the village of Fontevraud-l'Abbaye, near Chinon, in the former French duchy of Anjou. It was founded in 1101 by the itinerant preacher Robert of Arbrissel. The foundation flourished and became the center of a new monastic Order, the Order of Fontevraud. This order was composed of double monasteries, in which the community consisted of both men and women — in separate quarters of the abbey — all of whom were subject to the authority of the Abbess of Fontevraud. The Abbey of Fontevraud itself consisted of four separate communities, all managed by the same abbess.

The first permanent structures were built between 1110 and 1119. The area where the Abbey is located was then part of what is sometimes referred to as the Angevin Empire. The King of England, Henry II, his wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine, and their son, King Richard the Lionheart, were all buried here at the end of the 12th century. It was seized and disestablished as a monastery during the French Revolution.

At that time all the precious works of art and statues were taken away by the revolutionaries and sold at auction.

This beautiful painting of The Virgin Mary in oil on copper was a part of that siezure and was auction in 1790. By that time it has already been in the abbey for well over 100 years and so dates from the end of the 16th and early part of 17th century.

It is not in perfect conditon as one would expect from a work of art that meant nothing to the vandals that stole it but it is hauntingly beautiful and deserves to be left exactly as it is, but framed. As far as I am aware no other items from that auction have ever surfaced again so this is extremely rare.