Origin : Normandy, Rouen
Period : 16th century, around 1580
Height: 99 cm
Length: 35 cm
Depth: 23 cm
Good condition, usual restorations
Virgin and Child attributed to the sculptor Michel Lourdel (1577-1676). This sculptor and painter worked in Rouen (Normandy, France) during the late 16th century and early 17th century.
Mary is portrayed standing and presenting in her hands the infant Jesus blessing the world with His right hand.
The artist took a great care to render the clothes, supples and delicates. This effect of realness is highlighted by the pleats of the bodice, the neckline stressed by a large ribbon and the slender line of the blouse. Bringing forward the cloak with her arms, Mary produces large folds and volumes displaying the skills of the artist. But it is also a play on symbols.
Indeed, in that way the cloak of Mary takes the form of a sacred mandorla around the body of the Infant Jesus or even a touching evocation of the marian matrix.
The feminine face, with narrow nose and small lips, stays unreachable and melancholic. Mary bears on top of her head a closed crown remiding those worn at the French court during the 16th and 17th centuries.
Worth mentioning is the delightful movement of the culry hairs radiating around the face and reaching Mary’s shoulders. The artist beautifully worked on their volume, from the thiner strands to the thicker ones enphasizing once more the lifelike dimension of this sculpture.