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Enthroned Virgin and Child

Artist Culture
12th century
Wood with traces of paint
Made in
France, Europe
Sculpture, wood
Current Location
On View, Gallery 237
36 x 14 x 13 in. (91.4 x 35.6 x 33 cm)
Credit Line
Friends Fund
Public Domain
Object Number
The seated Virgin Mary assumes a rigid pose that echoes the shape of her chair, making her a throne for her son. Sermons and religious writings of the 11th and 12th centuries describe Mary as the Throne of Wisdom or the Throne of Solomon. The latter alludes to the Old Testament king known for wisdom and understood to be a precursor of Christ. During a later period, a chamber was carved into the figure’s right shoulder to serve as a container for relics. Although insect damage and structural repairs are evident throughout this work, the shallow cascading drapery folds on the chest and at the Virgin’s feet make this a superior example of French medieval sculpture.
- 1952
Heeramaneck Galleries, New York, NY

1952 -
Saint Louis Art Museum, purchased from Heeramaneck Galleries [1]

[1] A letter from Nasli M. Heeramaneck of Heeramaneck Galleries confirms the sale of the sculpture. Details of the previous owner or Heeramaneck's acquisition of the work are not mentioned [letter dated October 13, 1952, SLAM document files]. Minutes of the Administrative Board of Control of the City Art Museum, October 10, 1921.
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