Ecclesiastical Portraits in profile
18th century, Polychrome wax, gilded papier-mâché, marble and painted glass, fabric
These two portraits in profile are executed in polychrome wax and other material within an elegant round frame in gilded papier-mâché, which bears a mock wax coat-of-arms in the centre, below the effigies. The first one depicts a clergyman dressed in black, adorned with a tiny papier-mâché scarf. The inscription underneath reads 'PSALLAM DEO MEO QUAMDIU FUERO' (David, Psalms 145: 'I will praise my Lord as long as I exist'). The second portrait also depicts a high-ranking clergyman in a red robe, elegantly decorated around the edges and on the bust with a golden star, complemented by a thin gold scarf. The inscription underneath it reads: 'LABORO SICUT BONUS MILES CHRISTI' (1 Timothy, 2.3: 'I work as a good soldier of Christ'). Both inscriptions, taken from Holy Scripture, portray these two characters as devout, prominent figures within the religious community. The coats of arms beneath the effigies, which are barely legible, give no clues as to their identity.