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If this picture had been less laboured it might reasonably, with respect to its extent, be considered a mere sketch : but although the figures are of the proportion only of a foot, it may perhaps be put in competition with the best works of Vandyck.

In this performance the genius of that eminent painter is discoverable. The delicacy and truth of his colouring, the forcible manner in which the affections of the soul are expressed, and the gracefulness of his pencil, display his wonderful powers. In that branch of the art which sets off every other, Vandyck stands unrivalled, and assumes the first rank in the opinion of connoisseurs.

The colours of the draperies are selected in such a manner as to contribute to the fine effect of the whole. The body of Christ, enveloped in part with a white drapery, displays itself upon the blue mantle and the veil of the Virgin. The veil is black, as well as the drapery of the first angel; but the artist has had the ingenuity to vary the tints, and to give to the drapery a tone infinitely more vigorous.

The angel, whose hands are clasped, is clothed in a red stuff, which unfolds itself gracefully upon a background of clouds. The accessaries are no less ably pourtrayed: they are depicted with a warmtb which corresponds with the general tone of the figures.

This picture, or rather sketch, formed part of the cabinet of Louis XIV. at Versailles.

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