The discovery of the extraordinary painting Reading the Fate of the Christ Child,
painted by Josefa de Ayala (1630-1684), also known as Josefa de Óbidos, is an
important contribution not only to universal Baroque painting, but as one of the
very few examples of works of art executed some centuries ago by a female artist.
Josefa de Óbidos successfully infused this work with her enormous talent and
inspiration, choosing a subject that was extremely unusual for the time, dressing
the Virgin Mary in a gypsy hat, while a woman, also a gypsy, reads the Christ
Child’s palm. The scene is overflowing with unrivalled tenderness and warmth.