A full-relief sculpture in Vicenza stone, it offers a frontal view of the Virgin Mary seated on a throne, she, herself, becoming a throne (sedes sapientiae) for the Christ Child whom she holds firmly on her left leg. Both are in clerical vestments: a tunic covered by a chasuble with medieval pallium; the bust of the Christ Child is also girded with a Roman pallium. Mary’s tunic extends to her feet, creating cascades of fan-folds on her sides and tube-like folds in the front center. The lower hem of her garment has a sinuous, wave-like motion that reveals the tips of her feet, shod in soft footwear. The small feet of the Child, on the other hand, are bare and shaped to be seen from below. Mary, missing her right hand in which she held a flower—it is believed a rose, based on comparison with the stylistically-similar statue at the Fontevivo Abbey near Parma—has a veil over her head and a crown with lilies. The head of Baby Jesus, part of whose face has been missing since the early 1900s, is covered with short, tight curls. In his left hand he holds a small globe, symbol of earthly power, while his right hand is raised in the trinitarian sign of blessing. The sculpture was created to be placed in a position above the viewer, as can be seen from the base of the throne which is tilted slightly forward.


  • Title: Maestà mariana
  • Creator: Benedetto Antelami
  • Date Created: 12th - 13th Century
  • Location Created: Fidenza, Italia
  • Rights: Archivio Fotografico Diocesi Fidenza
  • Medium: Vicenza stone

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