Virgin and Child

Virgin and Child

c. 1395

Cast stone with traces of original paint

Overall: 101.9 cm (40 1/8 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1965.236


This sculpture-damaged during the 19th century and now missing the figure of the Christ child-is a fine early example of the type known as the Schöne Madonna or "Beautiful Virgin." This type became popular around 1400 and emphasized the graceful curve of the Virgin’s posture combined with deep, slightly exaggerated drapery folds. This sculpture is known to have come from the Church of Mariapfarr in the Diocese of Salzburg. It was made using a casting technique known as "lost shape." The casting consisted of pulverized limestone combined with quicklime and milk curd poured into a mold. After the cement-like mixture set for several weeks, the mold was destroyed to remove the sculpture, which could then be filed, polished, and painted.

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