Madonna and Child
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This painted terracotta sculpture of the Madonna and Child was brought to its current location in the Museo di Villa Guinigi in Lucca from an outdoor tabernacle (in the Piazza Bernardini in Lucca). The work was displayed in an eighteenth-century niche, and so it is not clear whether Matteo Civitali made it for display outdoors or for domestic devotion. Images of the Madonna and Child were an important part of Renaissance city-scapes, as they were scene to offer protection to all that transpired under their watchful eyes and to act as a deterrant against bad behavoriour. Many were attested to have performed miracles. Such scultpures were also used for domestic devotion, serving as models for good behaviour in children and helping women who gazed upon them conceive healthy male babies. The polychromy on this work, which underwent restoration in 1995-6, is poorly preserved , which is unsurprising given its previous location outdoors. (Painted terracotta sculptures are much more likely to lose their colour than glazed ones.) Photograph(s) licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.