Limestone with polychromy and gilding
Overall: 44.8 x 31.5 x 15 cm (17 5/8 x 12 3/8 x 5 7/8 in.)
Weight: 19.051 kg (42 lbs.)
John L. Severance Fund 1970.13
Here the Virgin is sitting on a highly decorated pillow.
This sculpture belongs to a tradition of seated Virgins that were prominent in Netherlandish art in the decades around 1400, and by extension may be associated with the Valois courts at Paris, Dijon, and Bourges. The theme of the Christ child who writes into an open book or onto a vellum banderole emerged during the third quarter of the 14th century and had great appeal among ecclesiastical and aristocratic clients. It undoubtedly refers to the educating and nurturing role of the mother in teaching the child, but also to the future position of the adult Christ as author and teacher. The small scale of this sculpture and the fact that its back is uncarved suggest that it was made for a small alcove or niche, appropriate in the intimate setting of a small chapel or oratory. The sculpture would have primarily been viewed from the front and perhaps from slightly below.
The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email [email protected].
To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.
All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.