Kneeling Virgin

Attributed to Paolo Aquilano Italian

On view at The Met Cloisters in Gallery 20

The Virgin kneels and looks down tenderly, indicating that once, an image of the baby Jesus was next to her and that this sculpture may have formed part of a group representing the story of Christmas. The undulating planes of the Virgin’s cheeks are subtly modeled to suggest both supple flesh and underlying bone structure. The combination of certain details—the tight belt cinching the waist, the gathered folds of the skirt, and the sophisticated coiffure with the hairline shaved to produce a high forehead—are typical Renaissance characteristics that contrast with those of the Late Gothic sculptures in this gallery.
Its attribution to Paolo Aquilano is based on stylistic affinities with a signed and dated terracotta sculpture in L’Aquila.

Kneeling Virgin, Attributed to Paolo Aquilano   (Italian, Abruzzo, active ca. 1475–1503) (Sculptor of the Berlin Enthroned Virgin?), Willow with paint and gilding, Italian

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