The Virgin of the Rosary
Oil painting restoration by Richard Cecil Schletty
A 7-foot high work of art (middle picture) was created in the early 20th century for the Church of Saint Mary in St. Paul, Minnesota. The artist is unknown. St. Mary’s original “Virgin of the Rosary” painting was was loosely modeled after the famous late 17th century oil painting by Spanish Baroque painter, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (far left picture).
The linen-on-board oil painting had long cracks and a hole 2 inches in diameter which had been filled in with white plaster. The entire painting was covered with tenacious layers of soot and shellac. The artwork had to be overpainted due to the irreparable staining. Mr. Schletty’s restoration (far right picture) endeavors to be faithful to the original Murillo painting with its illuminated faces, flowing garments and bright colors.
The Murillo painting is also referred to as “The Madonna of the Rosary” and in 2018 was the property of the Dulwich Picture Gallery in London, England.