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Orazio Gentileschi (Pisa 1563-London 1639)

A Sibyl c.1635-38

RCIN 405560

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In antiquity the 12 sibyls were women believed to be endowed with the gift of prophecy, they were adopted by the Christian church as figures foretelling the coming of Christ. At the Commonwealth Sales this painting was bought for £6 by Robert Houghton, the King's Brewer, who headed one of the Dividends. It was subsequently sold to the Parliamentarian Viscount Lisle who, as purchaser of 61 paintings, was one of the most prolific buyers at the sales. Presumably painted for Charles I, sold to Robert Houghton on 16 January 1652, returned to the Crown at the Restoration. Cat. 127