Enthroned Virgin and Child Sculpture from The Met Museum


The Museum’s collection includes a beautifully carved ivory statuette of the Virgin and Child (ca. 1260-80), produced at a time when Paris was the principal European center of ivory carving. The delicate features of the Virgin and the sensitively carved folds of her clothing reveal the extraordinary skill of Parisian ivory carvers. Although the head of the Christ Child is a modern replacement and the statuette has lost all but traces of its original painted and gilded decoration, the work still sensitively conveys the intimate communication between mother and child intended by the sculptor. The Museum’s statuette was probably originally set into a small architectural tabernacle, and functioned as a devotional object for lay owners, possibly women, or for nuns in a convent. Our meticulous reproduction was created with a combination of three- dimensional imaging and traditional sculpture techniques.

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