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Enthroned Virgin and Child

Date:
1130–1140
Geography:
Made in Burgundy, France
Culture:
French
Medium:
Birch with paint and glass
Dimensions:
H. 40 1/2 in. (102.9 cm)
Classification:
Sculpture-Wood
Credit Line:
The Cloisters Collection, 1947
Accession Number:
47.101.15
  • Description

    This type of sculpture, with the Christ child seated in the Virgin's lap in a frontal pose, is known as a Sedes Sapientiae (Throne of Wisdom). These seemingly straightforward images convey complex theological ideas. Mary serves as Christ's throne. Like his ancestors King David and King Solomon, Christ possesses wisdom and justice. Christ would have held a Bible, the divine wisdom that he himself embodies. The abstract linear character of the carving, the upward swirl of the drapery, and the facial type relate this piece to the sculptures of the Cathedral of Saint-Lazare at Autun.

  • Provenance

    Abbé Victor Terret , Autun (by 1925) ; [ Jean Peslier , Vézelay (sold 1935)] ; [ Brummer Gallery , Paris and New York (1935–1947)]

  • See also
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
470311:2

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