Offered by Galerie Gabrielle Laroche
Haute Epoque Fine Art
This Virgin and Child in Majesty sits on a throne bench, the bust straight. Mary supports with her left hand the Child Jesus. She wears a bronze-coloured dress with a thin green belt and a cloak on her narrow shoulders. The drapery is supple and natural, following the figure of the body.
She wears a short veil on her blond hair and her face’s features are delicate and regular. The nose is long and straight, the eyes are almond-shaped and a cleft-chin appears under the small lips.
The Child Jesus is held on her left fore-arm. He wears a long tunic with round collar. In the folds of the fabric we can see his small feet. He holds in his hands a round object, probably an orb.
The face of Christ shows obvious resemblance with his mother’s. He slightly smiles.
The 13th century is a period of artistic transition. Statuary retains formulas that have appeared in the previous eras while mixing up with new conceptual and plastic characteristics.
Here it can be seen in the hieratic and frontal position of Mary and in the off-centered position of Jesus, seated on her left knee. Although the Virgin seems perfectly still, her son is instead depicted in a more animated way thanks to his hand gestures. The left hand holds the orb while from his right hand he was operating a gesture of benediction towards the devotees as we can guess from the raised arm. Both faces are enlivened with a discreet smile.
The impassivity of the Virgin is not without echoing 12th century Virgin and Child sculpted groups in which she acts as a throne for her divine child. She presents him on her knees in a display of majesty.
The influence of those Sedes Sapientiae from previous centuries appear to be particularly strong in this work.
The characteristics identified on his Virgin and Child originating from Germany or Eastern France -
the supple drapery, the almond-shaped eyes and the straight nose - indicate it was sculpted during the second half of the 13th century.