Moloney, C. (active c.1869), after Murillo, Bartolomé (1617-82; Spanish)
Virgin of the Rosary (c.1869)
Oil on canvas, 167.0 x 112.8 cm
Purchased, 1870 (advice of Alfred Thomson)
National Gallery of Victoria (p.302.2-1)
The commission of this copy of Murillo’s Prado original reflected early efforts to obtain good Old Master copies for Melbourne. Thomson, writing to Redmond Barry in 1869, described Moloney as an excellent copyist living in Madrid.
According to Leonard Cox, however, both Thomson and the Melbourne Trustees were disappointed with the outcome, Thomson complaining about poor packing of the work.
The frame, by James Bourlet, London, is contemporary with Moloney’s painting, according to the NGV catalogue.
AR 1870 (longer version), p.187, Schedule XLII: as “(After) Murillo”; NGV 1894, p.122 (V.Buvelot Gallery, 7th bay, no.2); NGV 1905, p.138 (V.Buvelot Gallery, 4th bay, no.5) [£30]
See also Gates re: Creation / Re-creation (1989), cat.no.38 and fig.7, and Cox NGV (1970), pp.26 and 423, n.20 (citing Thomson’s letter to Barry, 16 July 1869): Cox adds that Thomson indicated he was unhappy about the work arriving in London with some of the wrapping adhering to it, suggesting that it was packed wet
Nothing else appears to be known about Moloney. For Murillo’s Prado canvas of c.1650, see e.g. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:The_Virgin_of_the_Rosary_(Murillo,_Prado); there are variants in the Pitti and elsewhere