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Brother Luce, the Hermit, with the Widow and her Daughter

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Brother Luce, a hermit, becomes enamored of a widow's pretty daughter. Disguising himself as a priest, he attempts to convince the girl that God wishes their union to produce a pope. However, their coupling produces a girl infant, and the hermit's falsehood is discovered. Taken from Jean de la...

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By about 1920, Baron Eugène-Napoléon Beyens (b. 1855 - d. 1934), Brussels (?). Private collection, England; July 8, 1981, anonymous ("property of a nobleman") sale, Sotheby's, London, lot 4 [see note 1], to P. and D. Colnaghi, London and New York; 1983, gift of Colnaghi to the MFA. (Accession Date: December 7, 1983) NOTES: [1] In a letter from Arabella Bailey of Sotheby's to Helen Hall of the MFA (March 13, 1985), this painting and its companion (1983.593) are said to have been purchased by the consignor's father "probably in Paris before the 1st World War."

Credit Line

Gift of Colnaghi USA, Ltd.


29.8 x 22.5cm (11 3/4 x 8 7/8in.) Framed: 40 x 33 x 3.2 cm (15 3/4 x 13 x 1 1/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Oil on canvas