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Christ Appearing to His Mother
This drawing of the Apparition of the Resurrected Christ to the Virgin was once thought to be by the Italian artist Francesco Albani (1578–1660), who completed a commission of just such a subject for the Oratory of San Colombano in Bologna. Guercino (1591–1666) also treated the theme in 1628–30 (Pinacoteca Civica Cento). A painting on alabaster by Stella, now in the Musée du Louvre, reverses the composition of this drawing and has been brought to bear on the problem. That work, however, is more correctly Christ Receiving the Virgin into Heaven, iconographically distinct from his appearance to her after his resurrection, where a book and chair suggest an interruption of her reading. What is also notable is that in all these works, the Virgin and Christ actually embrace. The conventional depiction of this subject kept mother and son apart.
from Snay, The Epic and the Intimate: French Drawings from the John D. Reilly Collection (Notre Dame, 2011)