The sculpture is created by pressing linen reinforced with glue into shallow molds and mounting the figure on a wood backing and adding paint and gilding. This work seems to be a unique surviving example of this technique. The Virgin is seated upon a throne displaying lion heads, a reference to the Throne of Solomon. Significantly, a number of votive offerings are incorporated into the interior of the figure: a pearl rosary and bobbin lace and other fabrics. The figure is said to have come from the convent of Santa Chiara in Vaglia, Tuscany, indicating that it was probably made for a Clarissan convent, a sister order following the Franciscan rule.
Elia Volpi, Davanzati Palace, Florence (by 1910–sold 1916); his sale, American Art Association(November 21-28, 1916, lot 714)]
Rusconi, Arturo Jahn. "Le Palais Davanzati." Les Arts 116 (August 1911). p. 9.
Art treasures and antiquities formerly contained in the famous Davanzati Palace, Florence, Italy, which together with the contents of his Villa Pía were brought to America by their owner Professor Commendatore Elia Volpi. New York: American Art Association, November 21–28, 1916. no. 714, ill.
Milliken, William M. "New Acquisitions of Italian Art." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, o.s., 12, no. 2 (February 1917). p. 36.
Ferrazza, Roberta. Palazzo Davanzati e le collezioni di Elia Volpi. Florence: Centro Di, 1994. p. 272, fig. 34, 138, 160.
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. 41, pp. 186–198.
Kargère, Lucretia Goddard, and Michele D. Marincola. "Conservation in Context: The Examination and Treatment of Medieval Polychrome Wood Sculpture in the United States." Metropolitan Museum Studies in Art, Science, and Technology 2 (2014). p. 16.