Saint Mary of Egypt in the Desert

After a painting engraved in Teniers, 'Theatrum Pictorium' (1660-73), and there attributed to Palma il Giovane (Italian, 1544-1628)

David Teniers II, Flemish (active Antwerp and Brussels), 1610 - 1690. After Palma il Giovane (Jacopo Negretti), Italian (active Venice), 1544 - 1628.

Made in Southern Netherlands (modern Belgium), Europe

c. 1655-1656

Oil on panel

8 7/8 x 6 3/4 inches (22.5 x 17.1 cm)

Curatorial Department:
European Painting

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:
Cat. 693

Credit Line:
John G. Johnson Collection, 1917

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This copy of a painting by Palma il Giovane shows Saint Mary of Egypt, who spent forty-seven years in the desert to atone for a life of dissolution and prostitution. In the desert, this early Christian saint lived naked, subsisting on what she could find. Palma il Giovane's name and the dimensions of his original painting were written along the bottom of Teniers's copy but were later painted over.