Virgin and Child

Artist: Flemish Sculptor
Date made: 1440–1450
Medium and support: alabaster
Dimensions: 24 × 10.5 × 6 cm, 1 kg
Type: sculpture
Inventory number: 5177
Collection: Sculpture

In many of its details this statue shows the influence of painting, which played the leading role in Netherlandish art of the time. The Virgin’s head type and the abundant folds of her mantle testify to familiarity with the painting of the van Eyck brothers. Despite its small size, the statue gives a powerful general impression; meanwhile its details are delicately worked. It is an outstanding example of the Netherlandish alabaster Madonnas that were widespread at the time and were probably used for private devotion. Although many attempts have been made to localise these alabaster workshops, they cannot be tied convincingly to any city.

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