Enthroned Virgin


On view at The Met Cloisters in Gallery 16

Created in northern Austria along the Danube River, this sculpture is notable for the deep lyrical carving of the drapery. The delicately applied paint on the Virgin’s face is original. The current appearance of much of the surface is due to a past restoration that removed layers of overpaint exposing some areas of gesso and bole, reddish soft clay used as a base for gold leaf. Painted in intense azurite, the blue lining of the Virgin’s mantle, on the other hand, largely retains its original appearance. The Virgin’s hands, which would have held the infant Jesus, were carved separately and have been lost. This sculpture can be seen in the context of the monumental Kefermarkt altarpiece in Upper Austria which is dated about 1490–1497.

Enthroned Virgin, Limewood with gesso, paint and gilding, Austrian

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