A good 19th century example of the wonderful decorative work of the Cuzco School of Peru.
Here we have an extraordinary painting of a delicately featured man or a woman perhaps, dressed as a European aristocrat in fantastic clothes with a gun pointing out of the picture. Yet this gunman has wings, and wears a very splendid hat.
I have identified him as Saint Michael, as I have seen several similar paintings, describing the figure as such, but I may be wrong. He is an definitely an archangel, of which there are only seven, and only they are depicted with wings.
The use of weapons in Christian iconography is typical of the Cuzco school, a town in Peru. Cuzco was where the "Andean Baroque" flourished, and local artists decorated the many church buildings built after the conquest by the Spanish, and then later after the region had been devastated by an earthquake in 1650.
And it was here that a unique style developed free from the real world, and escaped into the realms of fantasy. Taught by European artists the locals soon put their own heritage and imagination to work, to create these fantastic paintings which are instantly recognisable today and sought after.
Cuzco or Cusco, is a city in the Peruvian Andes, once the capital of the Inca Empire, and is now known for its archaeological remains and Spanish Colonial architecture.
This canvas bears on the reverse a Peruvian holographic export stamp.
It is not been re-lined, and there are three old areas of repair to the loose weave fabric. The painting is housed in a period gilt frame to which it has been reattached. The stretcher is probably later.
Sight: 12" x 15.5" ( 22cm x 17cm)
Frame: 17" x 20.5" (32cm x 27cm)