Madonna and Child
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This painted terracotta relief is a close copy of a marble relief also by Matteo Civitale, both of which are currently housed in the Museo di Villa Guinigi in Lucca. This terracotta relief, like another poorly preserved version of the same composition (in Santa Maria Forisportam, Lucca), is slightly smaller than the marble version. This likely indicates that a mold was taken from the original marble sculpture and used to make copies in terracotta, as clay shrinks slightly when dried and fired. (The amount of shrinkage depends upon the wetness of the clay and atmospheric conditions, and so there is no one formula.) The finely done original polychromy is well-preserved, except for the gilding, which was later re-done. Matteo, who was a painter as well as a sculptor, may have carried out the polychromy himself. This relief was likely originally made for domestic devotion and later gifted to the church. Photograph(s) licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.