The Virgin and Child

Tuscan Sculptoraround 1280

Museo Poldi Pezzoli

Museo Poldi Pezzoli
Milano, Italy

The Virgin is seated and holding Jesus, here more a boy than an infant. He wears a long blue robe similar to his mother’s. The head of Christ, probably decayed, was refashioned in a later period: it is small in proportion to the body and the features are rather different from Mary’s. Probably both figures were originally holding something, as suggested by their poses. One of the figures may have held a book, which identified Mary as sedes sapientiae, the throne of wisdom. This is an iconography with complex theological implications. It appears in icons, miniatures, statues and paintings and comes from Byzantine art, like the frontal pose.
In the Middle Ages wooden sculptures were widespread as cult images. Their three-dimensionality and rich polychrome decoration helped to bring the sacred personages closer to worshippers. Stylistic comparisons suggest this work is Florentine and dates from around 1280.


  • Title: The Virgin and Child
  • Creator: Tuscan Sculptor
  • Creator Lifespan: 13th Century - 13th Centurty
  • Creator Nationality: Italian
  • Creator Death Place: Toscana
  • Creator Birth Place: Toscana
  • Date Created: around 1280
  • Physical Dimensions: w43 x h147 x d46 cm
  • Rights: Fondazione artistica Poldi Pezzoli "Onlus"
  • External Link: http://www.museopoldipezzoli.it/#!/en/discover/collections/1202
  • Medium: Painted wood

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more

Flash this QR Code to get the app
Google apps