Oil on copper. 79cm by 58.5cm.
The 1763 Burghley Inventory records: ‘The picture room…A Piety (Magdalen) by Carlo Maratti.’
Carlo Maratta, who by the 1680s was one of the leading artists in Rome, was a painter much favoured by John, 5th Earl of Exeter (1648-1700).
Like several Grand Tourists, he commissioned Maratta to paint his portrait whilst in Italy, though sadly, this is no longer at Burghley and remains unidentified.
The earl bought a number of works from Maratta, his steward, Culpepper Tanner, recording a payment of 600 crowns to the artist in the winter of 1683-4, as the party made its way home from Naples at the end of the second Grand Tour.