This work is a rare surviving example of medieval sculpture in terracotta—no other Italian examples from the period exist today. The sketchiness of the modeling and the omission of figure of the Christ Child, among other details, suggest that the sculpture was most likely created as a workshop model rather than as a finished piece. It has been proposed that the terracotta was made as a goldsmith's model for the Virgin and Child group intended for the center of an altarpiece. The graceful pose of the Virgin, the rhythmic folds of drapery, and the delicate treatment of her face are consistent with the French-inspired style seen in Tuscany from the middle of the fourteenth century.
Erich Lederer, Vienna and Geneva (until 1985) ; August Lederer, Geneva (until 1997) ; Sotheby's, London(July 2, 1997, no. 93) ; [ S. Mehringer(sold 1998) ]
Wixom, William D., ed. Mirror of the Medieval World. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1999. no. 174, pp. 148–49.
Barnet, Peter, and Nancy Y. Wu. The Cloisters: Medieval Art and Architecture. New York and New Haven: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2005. no. 66, p. 196.
Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Lisbeth, and Jack Soultanian. Italian Medieval Sculpture in The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Cloisters. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2010. no. 40, pp. 180–185.
Barnet, Peter, and Nancy Y. Wu. The Cloisters: Medieval Art and Architecture. 75th Anniversary ed. New York and New Haven: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012. p. 104.