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Currently shown

Virgin and Child

Location

NORTHERN ITALY, PIEDMONT (?)

Title

Virgin and Child

Date

Mid-13th c.

Materials

Polychromed and gilded chestnut

Dimensions

66.6 x 22.2 x 24 cm

Credits

Purchase, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts' Volunteer Association and Junior Associates Funds, inv. 1973.Df.18

Collection

Western Art

According to medieval theology, the Virgin in Majesty, seated on the Throne of Solomon with the adult Christ on her lap, is herself the Throne of the "New Solomon", the seat of divine wisdom (Sedes Sapentiae). Its stylized drapery exemplifies Late Romanesque sculpture, and the faces, softened by gentle smiles, herald the more individualized Gothic representations of the relationship of Mother and Child. The pomegranate the Christ Child holds in his left hand is a symbol of the unity of the Church, as well as of immortality and resurrection. The Virgin's crown alludes to her role as Queen of Heaven and Bride of Christ.

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