This limestone statue shows the standing Virgin Mary cradling the Christ Child in her arms. It is carved nearly in the round and was once vividly painted. Christ is warmly swaddled to his mother's chest and holds the fingers of his right hand to his mouth; Mary gazes at him with a combination of tenderness and stoic knowledge of his future self-sacrifice. Christ's gesture and horizontal position are unusual for Virgin and Child groups but recur in one once displayed on the façade of a house in the Burgundian capital, Dijon (c. 1455–80; Philadelphia Museum of Art). The Barnes statue features heavy drapery, flowing hair on the figure of Mary, and a sense of serenity and composure in both subjects. These details are likewise associated with Burgundian workshops, but such statues were also rampantly popular as devotional images in sacred and secular settings across Late Gothic Europe.

This image is in the public domain.

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