Virgin and Child

Virgin and Child


Benedetto Buglioni

(Italian, 1461-1521)

Glazed terracotta

Overall: 123.8 x 68.6 x 15.3 cm (48 3/4 x 27 x 6 in.)

The Holden Collection 1916.1005



This small devotional object differs stylistically from Buglioni's Madonna and Child Enthroned with Saints Francis and Anthony Abbot (1921.1180), also in the museum's collection. In contrast to the other work, the faces of the Madonna and Child are significantly less expressive, and the passages of exposed skin have been left unglazed. The Madonna holds a nude Christ on her left arm and wears a mantle of blue with green lining and a maroon tunic with a yellow collar and cuffs. Her bright yellow shoes and the purple of her tunic are characteristic of Buglioni's color scheme and can also be seen in the other work. The tabernacle frame is probably contemporary to the figures, although it may not have been created specifically for this altarpiece. Buglioni likely worked in the studio of Andrea della Robbia, where he would have studied the family's techniques for glazing terracotta. The frame is classically inspired, with Corinthian capitals and Buglioni's characteristic egg and dart moldings. The facial type in this Madonna and Child recalls Buglioni's Madonna delle Grazie in Florence's Palazzo Frescobaldi, and because of this similarity, the scholar Allan Marquand attributed the Cleveland Madonna and Child to Buglioni in 1921, although this attribution has since been questioned.

Ana Dieglio 2009

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Type of artwork: 
Credit line: 
The Holden Collection

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