The donor of this painting, Robert William Theodore Gunther, purchased it in Naples in 1895. It had previously hung in a church as a votive offering. A votive offering is a gift a worshipper takes to a church to ask God for a favour. Often the request is for healing from injury or disease, the offering representing the injured body part. Apart from paintings, votive offerings can take the form of wax or metal plaques. This painting was probably taken to the church to plead for the recovery of the man injured by a horse’s kick, or it may have been given in thanks after the man’s recovery. The letters V. F. G. A. stand for 'votum fecit gratiam accepit': he has made a vow, he has received a favour.
Where to see this painting?
The Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford
Not all paintings are on display. If you want to see a particular painting, please contact the collection
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