'Angel Musicians', detail from 'The Presentation of Christ in the Temple', after CarpaccioArtist:
Charles Fairfax Murray
, British, 1849 - 1919
, Venetian, 1460 - 1526
Material and Medium: watercolour and bodycolour on paper
Dimensions: Mount: 295 x 458mm
Support: 125 x 280mm
Accession Number: CGSG00369
This is a small detail from an original painting by Vittore Carpaccio, painted in 1510 for the church of San Giobbe in Venice. The whole shows an important story from the life of Christ, in which his mother Mary takes him to the synagogue for the first time. There Christ is presented to Simeon the High Priest.
Carpaccio's painting is very decorative and includes many incidental details. These angels appear at the bottom of the work, on steps beneath Mary and Simeon's feet. Unlike Carpaccio's strongly defined painting, Murray’s copy is rather schematic or blurry so that he captures Carpaccio's use of colour and light, rather than the exact appearance of the real painting.
Murray copied the work in its current home, Venice’s Accademia gallery. Ruskin said that Carpaccio’s original painting was the ‘best’ in the Accademia and there are other copies from it in the Ruskin Collection. Murray copied embroidered details from Simeon’s robes, and Angelo Alessandri copied the entire altarpiece.