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Anthony van Dyck: 'The Abbé Scaglia adoring the Virgin and Child'

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Cesare Alessandro Scaglia served the House of Savoy in various diplomatic posts from 1614-32, when he retired to Brussels, a rich but discredited man. He entered the monastery of the Rýcollets, Antwerp, sometime after 1637 and died there in 1641.

It is possible that the Virgin and Child are based on portrait likenesses of Christina, Duchess of Savoy, and her eldest son. The composition of the picture derives from a lost painting by Titian sketched by Van Dyck in Italy.

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