The Immaculate Conception

The Immaculate Conception

c. 1765

assisted by Johann Peter Alexander Wagner

(German, 1730-1809)

Painted wood

Overall: 43.2 x 30.4 cm (17 x 11 15/16 in.)

Gift of Mrs. Betty Mont and Frederick A. Mont 1963.674

Description

This work has been associated with Johann Pieter Wagner, one of the leading Austrian sculptors of the second half of the 18th century. Because of its small size, it was most likely either a model for a larger altarpiece or an object designed for private devotion. Gold serves as celestial decoration around the border and on the figures. The Virgin Mary stands upon billowing clouds held up by angels, a variant on the Madonna of Victory, which features Mary or Jesus holding a spear. Mary holds the infant Jesus, while trampling a serpent-symbolizing the triumph of good over evil. The holy child holds a bouquet of flowers, representing his ability to bestow grace, expressing the benevolence associated with the cult of the Immaculate Conception.

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