A 19thC Italian Painted Ceramic Figure of a Chanting Monk

Origin: Italian
Period: Mid/Late 19thC
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1870
Height: 20”
Width: 10”
Depth: 7” (the base 6.5”)

The relatively large hand painted ceramic figure of a chanting monk, clutching a book of hymns, standing in his robes, the whole polychrome painted, the skin to the head and hands painted to imitate ivory, his face with wonderful animated expression, the brown robes with green tracery borders and the whole on a rustic circular base and surviving from nineteenth century Italy.

The condition of the whole is good with a gentle and consistent patina and wear commensurate with age. There are a handful of chips to the edgings revealing the white ceramic and he has become wonderfully tactile.

This is a charming and fairly large figure and may well have been made exclusively for an ecclesiastical setting. Figures of monks have been made for centuries but we cannot find another similar to this example and it may well be earlier in date. The rendering is good and you can almost hear him chanting such is the quality of the expression to his face.