Virgin and Child

Italian (Lombardy or Emilia-Romagna)
Medieval (Romanesque)
1125-1150
Unidentified artist (Swedish)


Object Place: Europe, Italy, Lombardy or Emilia-Romagna

Dimensions

74 x 40 x 22 cm (29 1/8 x 15 3/4 x 8 11/16 in.)

Accession Number

57.583

Medium or Technique

Limestone with polychromy

On View

Charlotte F. and Irving W. Rabb Gallery (Gallery 155)

Collections

Europe

Classifications

Sculpture

This image is an early example in Italian sculpture of a new devotional emphasis on the humanity of Christ. It stresses the warm intimacy between mother and son as they draw their heads together and look into each other’s eyes, with the child reaching his arms around Mary’s neck. The figure of Christ looks more like a small man than a baby; perhaps this was meant to recall the Old Testament song of Songs, in which the bride and groom came to be seen as references to Mary and Christ. Carved completely in the round, this stone sculpture would have been placed upon an altar, inspiring prayer and meditation.

Provenance

By 1955, Luigi Albrighi, Florence; 1957, sold by Albrighi to the MFA for $23,000. (Accession Date: September 12, 1957)

Credit Line

Maria Antoinette Evans Fund