Virgin Nursing the Christ Child

c. 1370
Overall: 111 x 38.5 cm (43 11/16 x 15 3/16 in.)
Location: not on view
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The back of this sculpture is unfinished since it would have originally been placed against a wall or pier.


This sculpture of the Virgin Mary nursing the Christ child subtly emphasizes the intimate relationship between mother and child and brings the Son of God in his human existence closer to the viewer. The emotional interaction is characteristic of sculpture since the mid-1300s, especially in the circles close to the court of the French kings in Paris and Emperor Charles IV (reigned 1346–78) in Prague. These novel stylistic tendencies were possibly a reaction to the fear and uncertainty incurred by the first great plague wave in 1348.
Virgin Nursing the Christ Child

Virgin Nursing the Christ Child

c. 1370

France, Île de France

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