Madonna and Child

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Lorenzo da Mortara, attr. to
Madonna and Child , Mary , Jesus , Christ , Virgin
This painted wood sculpture of the Madonna and Child was created ca. 1505 and has been attributed to Lorenzo da Mortara on the basis of the similarity to the Altarpiece of St. Joseph in San Lorenzo, Mortara. Initially made for the nunnery of Sant'Agata in Pavia, it is now housed in San Teodoro in the same city, where it has been placed in elaborate Baroque niche, flanked by seventeenth-century sculpted angels, behind heavy glass, which makes it difficult to examine closely. The work seems to have been heavily repainted and regilded, and so has any fine sculptural details are hidden under the thick layers that have softened the surface and given it a bright sheen. The image of Baby Jesus sleeping on his mother's lap, with one arm hanging down, would surely have reminded devotees of images of Mary mourning over her dead son, laying similarly in her lap. The Virgin's glance downward could thus be seen as prophetic -- she is often identified as a prophetess, who knew the suffering that awaited her child. Photograph(s) licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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