Mary, who is wearing a crown, a veil, and a big cloak, is holding the infant Jesus, who, in turn, bears in his right hand an apple, the symbol of redemption. The statue is an outstanding example of the alabaster Madonnas made for devotional purpose that had become increasingly common in the Netherlands. Despite its small size, the sculpture has both a powerful overall effect and gently formed details. Many of the details reflect the influence of fifteenth-century Netherlandish painting. The shape of Mary’s head and the rich pleating of her cloak bear witness to the strong influence of works by Jan van Eyck, especially the illusionistic figures in his grisaille paintings. Although there have been many attempts to identify the place where the statuette was made, it was not possible to establish a firm link with a particular city.
This record is subject to revision due to ongoing research.