Madonna and Child with an Angel

Unknown maker, Veniceearly 1500s

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum

Precious objects of this type were recorded in inventories of church treasuries and collectors cabinets. These rooms or series of rooms held unusual or intricate arrangements of rocks, shells, ivory, clocks, or microscopes, displaying the wonders of nature and science. Scholars and wealthy patrons collected intricate objects such as this carving to display in their collections and for private devotion.

An unknown sculptor carved this extraordinary work from a single mass of chalcedony, a type of quartz favored by gem engravers. The folds of the Madonna's cloak form a fluid frame that surrounds and encloses the Christ child, angel, and orb against her breast. The sculptor used the red matrix of the chalcedony mass to highlight specific parts of the image, such as the cross, the angel's wing, the gospels, and the edge of the cloth.

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  • Title: Madonna and Child with an Angel
  • Creator: Unknown maker, Venice
  • Date: early 1500s
  • Location Created: Venice, Italy
  • Physical Dimensions: 15.6 x 11.1 x 6 cm (6 1/8 x 4 3/8 x 2 3/8 in.)
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Chalcedony
  • Source Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • Object Type: Sculpture
  • Object Status: Permanent Collection
  • Number: 84.SA.666
  • Display Location: Currently on view at: Getty Center, Museum North Pavilion, Gallery N103
  • Department: Sculpture & Decorative Arts
  • Culture: Italian
  • Classification: Sculpture