This extremely rare Romanesque wood sculpture depicts the Virgin Mary’s role in important Christian doctrine. It belongs to a type known as Sedes Sapientiae (the Throne of Wisdom). The subject shows the Virgin Mary’s role as principal mediator between God and man in the Incarnation, the moment in which Christ became human. In this sculpture, Mary is seated frontally and hieratically on a throne.
A rare, Byzantine and Early Christan Art icon featuring the Virgin Mary and the Christ child will be on view beginning Tuesday, December 20. Acquired by the museum in June 2010 and having undergone an extensive conservation treatment since then, the Icon of the Mother of God and Infant Christ (Virgin Eleousa), will make its public debut in the Robert P. Bergman Memorial Gallery.