The Madonna Cabinet

I spent a few weeks in Italy this summer. It plays with your sensibilities. I came back feeling completely intimidated in terms of my creativity. When you are surrounded by art and beauty it's hard to try and capture it.
The Virgin, Jesus and Saint John Baptist
This was the image that I left Italy with. Our Lady. Just beautiful. A fresco painted on a wall near the restaurant we would frequent. The actual photograph though, isn't. The quality was really bad and I couldn't use it for image transfer.
Italian Fresco
Fortunately, there is a vast selection of The Virgin. I love 'The Virgin, Jesus and Saint John Baptist. Painted by Bouguereau, 1875
The Before
This is the piece I wanted to work with. Yes, I'm sure that some people will disagree with painting a piece like this. But, honestly, I hated the original finish. It was dark and worn and, in my humble opinion, not aesthetically pleasing.


I've been working with a new paint line, called Mia Colore, it's based on the Italian color palette. I wanted the piece to look, almost like a shrine, to Our Lady. It needed to feel as though the image was original to the piece. And it needed to show imperfections, and have lots of textures, and lots of signs of aging. It needed to look as though it belonged in Italy.
Close-up
The only creative liberty that I took was the gold leafing of the halo.


Because. Because she deserves it.
Painted finish to resemble plaster/fresco
I wanted the image to have the center spotlight, and so I choose to do the side panels and draw fronts with a technique to resemble aged plaster. Lots of texture, color changes. And gold leaf edging. Everything in Italy is gold leaf.
Top of the shelf.
The Mia Colore colors are a muted pink and light grey. A thousand different steps to get to this place.
Here's a Before/After. The difference is striking. Again, my pieces aren't for everyone. I understand that. I have a specific audience. This piece I love. And I'm sure it will find it's Forever home.
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
  1 question
  • Lorraine Baker Lorraine Baker on Aug 18, 2018

    What product did you use to get the fine crackle finish on the Bouguereau print?

Comments
Join the conversation
4 of 127 comments
  • Ardis Olson Ardis Olson on Nov 13, 2015
    That is so beautiful! The art was such a perfect fit with the piece!

    • The Paint Factory LLC The Paint Factory LLC on Nov 14, 2015
      @Ardis, this is the first time I've used religious art on a piece. But, I agree plus it's such a beautiful painting it's hard to go wrong with it!

  • Sandy Hartnett Sandy Hartnett on Nov 13, 2015
    I haven't seen furniture like this since I was a little girl! I use to dust it for my mom. What you did is fantastic! One day hope to find a piece like this! Hugs

    • The Paint Factory LLC The Paint Factory LLC on Nov 14, 2015
      @Sandy, thank you! This is called a Blind Door China Hutch (if you're looking to buy one). This one is for sale, but it is heavy heavy. The door is 1.5" thick!

Next