Evaluation of the Sculpture Virgin and Child

Published: 2021-09-11 06:00:10
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Virgin and Child Scuplture After several visits to the information desk and walking through about two dozen different galleries, I finally found the sculpture of Virgin and Child. She stands on a pedestal totaling approximately 6 feet tall, but the sculpture alone is only about half the height. There is a placard on the pedestal citing historical information. The sculpture is French Gothic and is made from marble. She was sculpted somewhere between the years 1325 and 1350. It is also noted that the sculpture is part of the Samuel H Kress Collection, I assume this means he is either the sculptor or owner of the piece.
We can assume from the title that this sculpture is a representation of The Virgin Mary and baby Jesus. Starting from her head, she is wearing a crown that at one time had five points, but now only has four as the back is broken. Each point is designed to look somewhat like a leave and was probably imagined to be made of gold. Under her crown she is also wearing a headdress, like a hood almost, which is indistinguishable from her robe-like dress. In her right hand she is holding something which is now broken. The object in her hand does not extend any lower than her hand and is only about one inch in length above her hand.
There is a hole in the top of the piece in her hand, as if something once fit down into it and is now broken. On her left she is holding a baby, which as we assumed above is baby Jesus. Both of the baby’s arms are missing, his left disconnected at the shoulder and his right disconnected right above the elbow. There is a crevice in the baby’s left leg, which allows us to assume that he was once holding something in his right arm that crossed his body and rested in his lap. He is wrapped from his waist down is a cloth robe, but his right toes are exposed when facing the sculpture.
If you stand to the right of it, you can see the bottom of his toes on his left foot. Her feet are also exposed, but she looks to be wearing some kind of shoe or slipper because her feet are smooth. There are holes on her robe, her crown, and her neck. The ones on her robe and crown were all about a centimeter or a centimeter and a half in diameter, and about a quarter to a half a centimeter deep. They varied in shape, some were round and some where square or diamond shaped. The holes were about two to three inches apart on both her robe and her crown. One could assume these holes once housed some sort of precious stone.
There were three holes on her neck. The one in the center was very shallow, possibly only a few milliliters, but about an inch to an inch and a half in diameter. On each side, with about an inch between each, were two more of the smaller deeper holes. The detail in this sculpture was immaculate. There was detail in almost every strand of hair on both her and the baby’s heads. The baby’s feet had distinct toes which even included toe nails. As the baby’s feet did, her hands portrayed detail even to include her fingernails. They both had complete detail in their faces, with proportional eyes, noses, and lips.
They were also proportional in relation to each other. The rest of the body proportions for her were also seemingly correct in the fact that she did not have oversized breasts, or stomach. As I was on my quest to find this sculpture in this museum I had encountered several paintings and sculptures similar to this one, mostly titled “Madonna and Child”. However this one stood apart. Something about this particular sculpture was extremely beautiful. And therefore it stood alone in a gallery set apart from the others, hopefully meant to exemplify its individual beauty.

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