Oil on canvas, 185.5cm by 185.5cm.
The painting depicts Christ’s appearance to Mary Magdalene after His Resurrection.
It was purchased in Venice by John, 5th Earl of Exeter (1648-1700), whilst on one of his four Grand Tours. It appears in the 1688 Burghley Inventory which records: ‘The Great Hall & Staire Cases by itt…1 picture, a Magdalen & Our Saviour} by Sigr Librei.’
The early years of the Paduan-born Liberi’s life were extremely adventurous, including his capture and subsequent bondage at the hands of Tunisian pirates and a period fighting the Saracens as a mercenary for the Duke of Tuscany.
Once painting became his main focus, he was active mainly in Venice and the Veneto, working extensively for the Doge Francesco Molino.
He was much favoured by the 5th Earl who bought several of his paintings.