Sibyl with a Book
|Medium, technique||painted terracotta|
88 × 44 × 31 cm
|On view||This artwork can be displayed at the permanent exhibition|
Lorenzo Ghiberti was an outstanding quattrocento sculptor. On the terracotta statue we see how the straight line of the edge of the Virgin’s cloak draping over her right shoulder is interrupted by a semicircular fold. This arrangement is a recurring motif in Ghiberti’s art: for instance, similar pleating can be seen on several reliefs of the northern door of the Florentine Baptistry. Ghiberti himself wrote of his multifaceted work as an artist and sculptor in his Commentarii, where he described that he produced sketches and models for other masters. The present statue was likely done after a design by the master. Ghiberti’s influence is evident in Mary’s gentle expression as she turns towards the infant Jesus and in the tender emotionality that radiates from the composition. The slightly elongated proportions of the statue suggest that it was originally intended to be viewed from below.