Reading the Fate of the Christ Child

New Masterpiece by Josefa de Ayala (1630-1684)
Joaquim Oliveira Caetano, 2019

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.