Virgin and Child

Italian (Rome or Tuscany?)
about 1725
Formerly attributed to Pietro Stefano Monnot (French, active in Italy, 1657–1733)


Object Place: Europe, Italy

Dimensions

41.9 x 21.6 cm (16 1/2 x 8 1/2 in.)

Accession Number

66.952

Medium or Technique

Terra-cotta

On View

Angelica Lloyd Russell Gallery (Gallery 142)

Collections

Europe

Classifications

Sculpture

Unpainted, rose color terra cotta bozetto. Full round Virgin, seated on molded pedestal, holds in open mantle naked sleeping Child whose head rests on cushion, His left hand broken off. Her right arm slightly raised, hand broken off. Nail in broken off mantle indicates She held scepter. Base at left broken off shows nail and two holes.


Sculptors often used clay to create preparatory models for works in other materials. The clay models were usually fired in a kiln, making them sturdier and more likely to survive. The models were also appreciated as works of art in their own right.
This composition was probably meant to be carved in marble. It captures the intimacy and silence of a mother holding her sleeping child. The Virgin’s twisting pose is accentuated by the flow of soft drapery, which seems to envelop both mother and child.

Provenance

By 1966, Madame R. Hein, Paris; 1966, sold by Madame Hein to the MFA. (Accession date: December 14, 1966)

Credit Line

Otis Norcross Fund