Wall sculpture in Tonnerre limestone representing the Virgin holding the Child Jesus in her arms (acephalous)*.
Richly dressed in a long coat with remnants of red and blue polychrome and gilding on the edges, she stands straight, sketching just a slight sway.
She holds the child with her right hand resting on the groin and her left hand flat which goes under the leg and simply supports the knee.
Beautiful state of preservation, the head and arm of Christ* are missing, small chips and wear on the feet of the child, of the Virgin and on the folds of the clothes.
Troyen sculpture workshop, Champagne around 1520.
Height: 66 cm, Width: 22 cm
Our opinion :
The end of the Hundred Years War and the conflicts with neighboring Burgundy gave Champagne a period of great prosperity.
Crossroads of Europe, the region hosts many fairs, in particular that of the city of Troyes which attracts thousands of foreign merchants and brings considerable wealth but also a new art.
Little by little the Gothic fades away and gives way to the softness of the beginnings of the Renaissance from Flanders and Italy.
It is a great period of effervescence with many constructions of cathedrals, churches and abbeys in the region.
With its soft and perfect lines, the female face is one of the major characteristics of Trojan sculpture: oval shape, high and domed forehead, almond-shaped eyes, all framed by large braids.
The penetrating gaze of these inimitable virgins still brings us back to the Gothic period, even if the softness of the face, the movement of the arms and the opulent folds of the clothes announce the imminence of the rebirth.
The way the virgin holds the child is atypical and characteristic of these virgins from the school of Troyes.
It is no coincidence that a similar face was chosen to adorn the cover of the catalog of the exhibition "the beautiful XVI th century, masterpieces of sculpture in Champagne"*.
Indeed the face of the Virgin and Child in the church of Thoult Trosnay (Marne) is one of the icons of Trojan sculpture.
Our virgin who wears the same face probably comes from the same workshop.
In our eyes, the softness of his expression represents the quintessence of Champagne sculpture.
* Many very old virgins present an acephalous Christ, such as the two XV th Virgins from the Cluny museum (Inventory No. Cl. 18926) and the Louvre Museum (Inventory No. RF1233).
However, their relatively good state of preservation excluded any accident.
The majority of specialists believe that these are revolutionary acts which removed any religious character from a sculpture deemed far too beautiful to disappear.
* Cover of the catalog "Le beau XVIe siècle: masterpieces of sculpture in Champagne", Hazan editions, 2009.
32 000 €