(German, c. 1445–1533)
Overall: 31 x 9.8 x 8.7 cm (12 3/16 x 3 7/8 x 3 7/16 in.)
Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1939.64
Looking closely, you can see that the sculptor carved tears under Mary's eyes. They show her pain over Christ hanging on the cross.
This statuette once formed part of a Crucifixion group intended for a domestic shrine or chapel. Such ensembles were not only used for private devotion and meditation, but were also collected as works of art. Despite the regrettable loss of arms and hands, the work’s virtuosity in capturing the Virgin’s profound sorrow is evident in the sensuous carving of her tearful face, the subtle rendering of her long wavy hair, and the exaggerated treatment of her fluttering garment. Veit Stoss was one of the greatest German sculptors of the period. A native of Swabia and believed to have received part of his training in the Upper Rhine valley, he was active mainly in Nuremberg and Krakow. While known mostly for his monumental works, he also produced small-scale statuettes and ensembles such as this one for private devotion.
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