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Virgin and Child
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Virgin and Child

Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description The small scale and domestic character of this statuette indicate that it was used for personal devotion. Mary is presented as a down-to-earth mother playing with her child. Her long, uncovered hair, a style appropriate to a virgin (a married woman wore her hair covered), refers to the miracle of her perpetual virginity even after the birth of Christ. Her garments and simple wooden stool are humble; however the figure originally wore a crown and a jeweled brooch to hold her mantle, in anticipation of her future role as Queen of Heaven, while golden tassels or pearls once hung from the stool's cushions. This blend of luxury and simplicity is typical of contemporary images of the Virgin which both aided the private devotions of the wealthy and complemented their refined tastes.
Date Description Narrative
9/13/1995Loan Considerationexamined for loan
  • The International Style: The Arts in Europe Around 1400. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1962.
  • Ivory: The Sumptuous Art. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1983-1984.
  • Illuminated Manuscripts: Masterpieces in Miniature. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1984-1985.
  • Images in Ivory: Precious Objects of the Gothic Age. The Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit; The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1997.
  • Vive la France! French Treasures from the Middle Ages to Monet. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1999-2000.
Provenance Collection of Chanoine Sauvé, Laval Cathedral, until 1892; Raoul Heilbronner, Paris, by purchase (?); Jacques Seligmann, Paris [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1913, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, 1913

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1420-1440 (Renaissance)
(Ivory & Bone)
Accession Number
11 x 5 13/16 x 5 1/4 in. (27.9 x 14.8 x 13.4 cm)


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