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Gallery Text

In the first half of the fifteenth century, leading Florentine sculptors began to produce plaster and terracotta works, which could easily be cast from molds. Particularly popular were those depicting the Virgin and Child, which increased in both quantity of production and complexity of design during the period. Although none of these works is documented or signed, all were part of a sculptural production that, like prints in the later part of the century, assisted in the dissemination of the sculptural canon, making new artistic ideas available to a wider audience. In his Commentaries, Ghiberti claims to have “helped many painters, sculptors and masons by making them numerous models in wax and clay.” Around fifty examples of this relief, with minor variants, survive, suggesting that production may have lasted for several decades. Such works were used for private devotion in homes or set in exterior tabernacles around the city.

Identification and Creation
Object Number
1964.113
People
Workshop of Lorenzo Ghiberti (c. 1381 - 1455)
Previously attributed to Jacopo della Quercia (Jacopo di Pietro d'Angelo), Italian (1367 - 1438)
Title
The Virgin and Child
Classification
Sculpture
Work Type
sculpture, relief
Date
c. 1430-1435
Culture
Italian
Persistent Link
https://hvrd.art/o/227981
Location
Level 2, Room 2500, European Art, 13th–16th century, Art and Image in Europe
View this object's location on our interactive map
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Terracotta with traces of pigment
Dimensions
framed: 55.9 x 45.1 x 17.1 cm (22 x 17 3/4 x 6 3/4 in.)
Provenance
Dr. and Mrs. Paul G. Ecker, Philadelphia, gift; to Fogg Art Museum, 1964.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Paul G. Ecker in memory of Dr. Elliott Carr Cutler
Accession Year
1964
Object Number
1964.113
Division
European and American Art
Contact
am_europeanamerican@harvard.edu
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Publication History

"Some Recent Acquisitions: Photographs", Fogg Art Museum Acquisitions, 1964, vol. 2, no. 2, 65-114, 1964, p. 70, 129, repr.

C.D. Lewis, The Mount Holyoke College Art Museum Handbook of the Collection, ed. Jean C. Harris (South Hadley, MA, 1984), p. 22, note V

Geraldine Johnson, "Art or Artefact? Madonna and Child Reliefs in the Early Renaissance", The Sculpted Object, 1400-1700, ed. Stuart Currie and Peta Motture (Aldershot, Hants, U.K., 1997), pp. 5, 10, 15 note 27

Exhibition History

32Q: 2500 Renaissance, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/16/2014 - 01/01/2050

Subjects and Contexts

Google Art Project

Related Works

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of European and American Art at am_europeanamerican@harvard.edu