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Painting as prayer

The head of the woman praying is covered in the lightest of veils, her hands rest on the candelabra with nine branches, a hannukah [menorah]. She has just lit the candles and is murmuring the blessing, all wrapped up, her hands cupped and her head veiled. This is a picture portraying the artist’s mother, one of the first of her that Antonietta Rapahael Mafai painted.